The ABC’s of Crohn’s Disease & UC: “G” & “H”
In my next ABC’s of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, I explore the G’s and H’s of the diseases. I found that there aren’t that many of either but enough to make it worthwhile to combine the two into one entry.
There are some obvious ones and some not so obvious ones but overall, a lot of important terms that start with G and H.
So without further ado, I present to you the G’s and H’s of Crohn’s and UC.
Gallstones: A complication associated with Crohn’s Disease & UC. Gallstones are hard deposits that form inside the gall bladder. They can be extremely painful. Doctors diagnose gallstones by performing an ultrasound of the abdomen. If a person experiences repeated bouts with gallstones, their doctor may recommend the removal of the gall bladder, typically done during a laparoscopic procedure that is simple and non-invasive.
Gastrointestinal Tract (GI Tract): The GI tract is traditionally made up of the stomach and intestines; however some believe that it encompasses everything from the mouth down to the anus. It is where Crohn’s Disease and UC most commonly presents itself. The upper GI tract includes esophagus, duodenum, and stomach. The lower GI tract is made up of most of the small intestine and all of the large intestine.
Gastroduodenal Crohn’s Disease: This type of Crohn’s Disease causes inflammation in the stomach and the duodenum, the first part of the small intestine.
Gengraf: This medication is an immunosuppressant that prescribed to Crohn’s and UC patients. In Crohn’s, Gengraf is used to treat fistulas. In UC, Gengraf is prescribed to patients who don’t respond well to other medications or are facing surgery. Gengraf, also known as Cyclosporine, is not meant for long-term use as it can cause severe side effects, including kidney damage, liver damage, seizures, and fatal infections.
Dr. Leon Ginzburg: A former Mount Sinai surgeon, Dr. Ginzburg was one of the doctors who collaborated with Dr. Crohn on the study that led to the discovery of Crohn’s Disease.
Granuloma: The presence of granulomas, clusters of inflammatory cells, help to diagnose Crohn’s Disease during a colonoscopy. They are not present in UC.
Granulomatous Colitis: Also known as Crohn’s Colitis, Granulomatous Colitis is a type of Crohn’s Disease that involves only the colon. Symptoms of it can include joint pain, skin lesions, and diarrhea, among others.
Gut: Slang term for the stomach.
Hemoglobin/Hemocrit: These are measurements of red blood cell number and volume. The results help detect anemia.
Hemorrhoid: Everyone’s favorite pain in the ass (pun intended). Hemorrhoids are the result of the veins in and around the anus and rectum becoming swollen due to frequent diarrhea and bowel movements. They can be either internal or external.
Herbal Supplements: While there is no solid information about the benefits of these supplements, there are some herbs that are considered good for the gut. These include probiotics, fish oil, lemongrass, turmeric, and green tea. Always check with your doctor before you start taking something new to get their input and suggestions.
Heredity: As mentioned previously, your heredity plays a factor in whether or not you will develop Crohn’s or UC. People who come from a family where a blood relative (parent, sibling, etc.) has either disease are more likely to develop the disease than others who do not have any occurrences of it in their family. That being said, heredity is not a sole cause in Crohn’s or UC, just one that can be attributed to the presence of the disease in some situations.
Humira: The third TNF inhibitor, after Remicade and Enbrel, to be approved for use in the US, Humira is used to treat Crohn’s and, as of recently, UC. Humira, which stands for Human Monoclonal Antibody in Rheumatoid Arthritis, is an alternative for patients who have not been helped by other medications. Humira neutralizes the TNF protein in the bloodstream and removes it before it causes inflammation in the GI Tract.