In contrast to ulcerative colitis, it affects all layers of the intestinal wall and can affect all sections of the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus. The following are preferred: The lower part of the small intestine (terminal ileum) in about a third of the cases, the transition to the large intestine (ileocolon) in about 40%, colon and anal canal in about 25%, other sections rather rarely (<5%) . Several sections of the intestine can be affected at the same time, separated by healthy sections (segmental, discontinuous infestation).
Every year 2 to 4 new cases occur per 100,000 inhabitants. Both sexes fall ill with the same frequency. The disease affects people of all ages, but occurs frequently between the ages of 20 and 30 and around the age of 60. Both a family cluster and an ethnic cluster were observed. Whites suffer about twice as often as those with color. The number of new cases has increased overall in the last 20 years.
The causes are still unknown. It is believed that several factors must work together (multifactorial genesis). This is based on the observation of a familial cluster (hereditary disposition), the influence of nutritional factors and nutritional components (e.g. increased use of refined carbohydrates, e.g. white sugar), a possible disturbance of the immune system, psychosomatic causes (conflict situations, Stress) and a possible influence of bacteria and viruses.
The most important symptom (leading symptom) is a liquid to watery stool (in approx. 70% of sufferers), which is often accompanied by cramp-like pain, especially in the right lower abdomen. Blood or mucus in the stool are – in contrast to ulcerative colitis – rather rare. Many patients experience weight loss as a result of protein loss through the intestine, feel tired, beaten up and have no appetite. The disease usually develops in batches with fever, an increase in white blood cells (leukocytosis) and anemia (reduction in the red blood pigment).
The first indications of the presence of a Crohn's disease result from the patient's questioning (anamnesis), which …
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