Condition: Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune condition caused by the body’s immune system attacking itself. This causes patches of inflammation in the gut wall, affecting any part of the gut.
145 in 100,000 adults in the UK are affected by Crohn’s disease.
Symptoms may vary depending on the part of the gut affected and severity.
The most common symptoms include:
- Tummy pain;
- Weight loss;
Some patients may develop symptoms due to complications of their Crohn’s disease including bowel obstruction, bowel leak and abnormal connections between the gut and itself or other organs.
Some patients may also develop symptoms in other parts of the body including: skin rashes, joint pain, eye inflammation, and kidney stones.
- Palpitations and/or chest pain;
- Shaking (tremor);
- Dry mouth;
- Nausea and diarrhoea.
The causes of Crohn’s disease are not entirely known but it is thought to be a result of complex interactions between a person’s genes and their environment.
Having a family member with Crohn’s disease or another autoimmune condition is associated with an increased likelihood of developing Crohn’s.
Blood tests, stool samples and scans may all help in making a diagnosis.
The gold standard for diagnosis is to insert a flexible telescope into the anus and around the colon (colonoscopy) to collect a sample of tissue (biopsy) to be examined under a microscope.
Crohn’s Disease Treatment
Treatment for Crohn’s disease is separated into two components. The first aim is to treat active symptoms (flare-up) and then once a flare-up is settled to maintain remission.
Treatment for Crohn’s disease is managed in specialist settings.
Flare-ups are typically treated with a short course of corticosteroids with other immunosuppressant medications (e.g. azathioprine, 6-mercaptopurine) depending on severity.
Remission is maintained using a stepwise approach starting with select immunosuppressants (e.g. azathioprine, 6-mercpatopurine) and adding in second line therapies (e.g. methotrexate) as required.
Some patients may require treatment with special medications made from antibodies or surgery.
Medicinal cannabis can be considered when first and second line therapies have not achieved adequate benefit in active Crohn’s disease or disease that is in remission.
Arrange a Referral
At Sapphire London we operate on a doctor to doctor referral basis. We accept referrals from GP’s and consultants. This is to ensure that the patient’s condition has been fully assessed by a qualified physician and all other treatment options have been attempted.
For doctors to refer a patient to us, please click here to fill and securely submit a referral form.