Chrones – The Other IBD
When it comes to Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD), most people are aware of ulcerative colitis. This is a disorder in which the damage occurs in the colon as a result of inflammation of the tissue. However, chrones is a prevalent disorder that is often misdiagnosed as ulcerative colitis, as they share many of the same symptoms.
Basically chrones and ulcerative colitis are very similar disorders. They are both forms of IBD in which the body’s immune system overreacts and causes tissue to swell excessively. Ulcerative colitis, though, is only found in the colon. On the other hand, chrones can literally be anywhere in the digestive tract. It is, however, most often found at the beginning of the large intestine and the end of the small intestine.
With chrones, when the wall of the bowel becomes swollen and inflamed, it is easily damaged by waste as it travels through the system. This damage sometimes results in scare tissue, which steadily narrows the passages even more than the original inflammation. The primary problem with chrones is this domino reaction – inflammation occurs, damage is done, scare tissue is formed, more damage is done, more scare tissue is formed, so on and so forth. The ending result is often blocked passages in which no waste can pass. When a blockage occurs, the threat of a rupture is a very serious concern for chrones sufferers. For this reason, if blockages are not resolved quickly, surgery is often used to remove the damaged area and the blockage.
On the other hand, there is still quite a threat even before any scar tissue forms. When damage is done to the bowel wall, ulcers and/or fistulas may form. An ulcer is a type of sore on the tissue which can easily become infected. On the other hand, a fistula is a severe ulcer that tunnels into surrounding tissue, such as the vagina or bladder. If an infection occurs, it could be deadly if not treated properly. Meanwhile, feces may pass through the fistulas which only compound the problem.
Patients with chrones are not necessarily sick all the time. They tend to have bouts of inflammation followed by calm times in which their system works fine, or at least as well as a damaged system can. However, this roller coaster often makes it difficult for someone with chrones to function and deal with daily life, as interruptions are always a possibility.