I've also recently had a fever, fatigue, weight loss, diarrhea, and rectal bleeding!
Oh no! After eating that super greasy hamburger, I have developed severe abdominal pain!
We'll start by testing your blood for antibodies and look for blood in your fecal matter. Then we will give you an MRI and CT scan of your small intestine to look for any abnormalities.The last test is a capsule endoscopy where you swallow a camera and we take pictures of your small intestine.
Based off your symptoms, I think you have Crohn's Disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation in the lining of your digestive tract. We should run some tests to be sure.
And that's why I came here today.
Well, the cause is not known, but many suspect that heredity, an overactive immune system, and/or environmental factors play a role, while smoking and eating a high fat diet and age could act as risk factors.
Why'd I get this? How? What's wrong with my body!
Crohn's causes inflammation, primarily in the small intestine in the abdomen. Normally, this organ is long and thin and absorbs about 90% of nutrients, but the inflammation can cause damage that lowers that efficiency and cause complications like ulcers, malnutrition, obstructions, or even cancer.
Crohn's commonly develops between the ages of 15 and 35 and it affects males and females equally. It also affects 700,000 people in the US, mostly whites and those of Jewish descent.
*Gasp* I'm a white, Jewish, 30-year-old male!
Unfortunately, Crohn's is chronic and is not curable. Damage could be irreversible, and flare-ups are common.
Of course! Antibiotics can treat possible bacterial causes, corticosteroids and immune modifiers suppress the immune system to reduce inflammation, nutritional supplements can treat malnutrition, and pain relievers can stop abdominal pain!
Is there anything we can do?
Of course, you should also avoid smoking and eat a low-fat diet to prevent further flare-ups.