Crohn’s Disease

Among the many diseases affecting the digestive system, is the Crohn’s disease. This disease causes the inflammation of some parts of the digestive tract resulting to complications that affect the movement and absorption of the soluble products of digestion. In this piece of literature, we will focus on the pathophysiology and the nutritional defects of the disease, the factors that may result to its exacerbation and the symptoms accompanying it. In addition, we will also study the effects of fistula and also the reasons for retarded growth as far as Crohn’s disease is concerned. Finally, we will also check the possibility of the formation of an obstruction in the digestive tract of Mr. P.T, a patient suffering from Crohn’s disease.

The pathophysiology of Crohn’s disease

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Crohn’s disease is a health complication that affects the digestive tract and may or may not be related to the inflammations experienced in the intestines. Complications that may arise due to the disease may include; collection of pus in the intestines, bleeding of the intestines, fistulae and obstruction of the intestines among others (Alvarez 2014). Extreme cases may result to the dilation and rupture of the intestines which is usually fatal if not treated in time (Ross 2014). 

Exacerbating factors for Crohn’s disease

It is important to note that the causes of this disease are usually very complex. With this in mind, we will identify the factors that may result to its exacerbation. They include; cigarette smoking, the immune system of an individual, the environment in which one lives and the genetic makeup of an individual among other factors. Crohn’s disease tends to be severe and exacerbate fully in individuals who smoke cigarettes. This is mainly because of the continuous interaction of the habit of smoking with the immune system. Smoking has been proven to be one of the leading causes of low immunity among adults in a study conducted in Australia in 1998 (Alvarez 2014). On the other hand, recent studies have revealed that cases of Crohn’s disease have been mainly reported in the industrialized countries and cities. Individuals living at the northern climates are also exposed more to this disease as compared to people inhabiting other climatic regions. From this, it is worth noting that the environment on lives plays a major role in the occurrence and exacerbation of the Crohn’s disease (Alvarez 2014).

Common signs of an exacerbation

Crohn’s disease is usually accompanied by a number of symptoms. These include; cramping and severe abdominal pains, diarrhea, fever, fatigue, loss of weight  due to reduced appetite, and blood on the stool among other symptoms. In case of the exacerbation of this disease, the symptoms are usually magnified and some additional signs may show. These additional signs include;’ inflammation of the bile duct and the liver and also the inflammation of the eyes, joints and the skin. Extreme cases usually result to delayed sexual development and general body growth among children (Ross 2014). If not closely monitored, a patient suffering from this disease may end up dying.

How nutritional deficits may occur with Crohn’s disease

The simple fact that Crohn’s disease affects the digestive system means that it may have a direct impact on the nutrition of a patient. It is very important to note that Crohn’s disease usually affect the lower part of the digestive system which comprises of the colon and the ileum respectively (Ross 2014). The ileum is the part of the intestines where final digestion processes and almost all absorption of the soluble products of digestion take place. Therefore, people suffering from Crohn’s disease usually have great challenges in the complete digestion and absorption of food. This eventually results to the body being deficient of the vital minerals and vitamins. The inflammation of the colon, where almost all the water is absorbed in the body usually results to the dehydration of the body cells and this condition is usually fatal (Barclay 2015). 

Contributing factors to retarded growth in a young person

Crohn’s disease can also be associated with retarded growth among children. This can be explained in a number of ways including; malnutrition, which has been explained by a number of scientific investigators to be a primary reason for the retarded growth. Energy intake by the affected people is usually very low, resulting to the reduced rate of growth (Ross 2014). In addition, retarded growth among the people affected with Crohn’s disease can also be attributed to the extreme nutrient loss due to the process of pertain exudation (Ross 2014).

Effect of a fistula

In some cases, like that of Mr. P.T, Crohn’s disease may result to the formation of a fistula between the intestines and the bladder. This is usually a very serious condition that usually results to the urinary tract being prone to infections. Fistula also results to difficulty in passing urine which is usually very smelly. In some cases, the urine may contain stool like substances, if not so, gas might come out through the urethra when urinating (Barclay 2015).

How an obstruction can gradually form

To Crohn’s disease patients like Mr. P.T, there is a high possibility of an obstruction developing in the intestines. As stated previously in this piece, Crohn’s disease usually results to the inflammation of the intestines. Continuous swelling of the walls of the intestines may result to partial blockage of the intestines, usually referred to as partial obstruction. 

Manifestations of an acute obstruction

Increased swelling of the walls of the intestines results to the total or complete blockage of the intestines, usually described as total obstruction (Barclay 2015). This stops the motion of the waste products of digestion as well as that of the soluble products of digestion (Barclay 2015). Acute obstruction of the ileum usually results to the swelling of the abdominal parts of an individual, this is usually resulted from the accumulation of the waste products of digestion in intestines. Acute obstruction my also result to constipation; this is usually because of the narrow channel of the intestines that is expected to pass a large amount of waste at a given time (Barclay 2015). 

Potential complications of an intestinal obstruction

If not treated promptly, Crohn’s disease may result to the obstruction of the intestines. This results to the accumulation of the waste product s of digestion in the intestines. If not quickly and carefully treated, it might result to the rapturing of the intestines, spilling the wastes to the adjacent cells, resulting to serious infections (Alvarez 2014).


Alvarez, W. C. (2014). An Introduction to Gastro–Enterology: The Mechanics of the Digestive Tract. Butterworth-Heinemann.

Barclay, A. E. (2015). The digestive tract. Cambridge University Press.Ross, A. C. (2014). Modern nutrition in health and disease (No. Ed. 11). Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

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