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Crohn’s disease and its psychosocial implications

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  1. Introduction
  2. Crohn's disease
  3. Implications
  4. Conclusion

Crohn's Disease is an autoimmune disorder that falls under a category of diseases known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (sometimes referred to as Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome; Hanauer, S. B., 1996). An autoimmune disease is one in which a person's body determines its own cells and tissues to be foreign and thus, attacks them accordingly. Crohn's Disease most often results from inflammation within the small intestine, ileum, colon, and even the entire gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus. Crohn's Disease presents a multitude of uncomfortable and painful gastrointestinal symptoms, which are extremely varied among Crohn's patients and have either a chronic or an episodic pattern to them.

Many of the symptoms of Crohn's disease include, but are not limited to abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, incontinence, constipation, and weight loss (1996). In children, Crohn's Disease can present severe growth retardation and chronic difficulty gaining weight (because of the bowel's inability to absorb sufficient nutrition; (Ghosh, S., Drummond, H. E, et al, 1998). Crohn's Disease also presents a myriad of other, extraintestinal conditions, such as arthritis, skin problems, liver disease, kidney stones, and eye inflammation. ?Flare-ups? are extremely common after months or even years of a period of remission.

[...] Coping capabilities are vast, and ? as one would imagine ? vary greatly from patient to patient. Many times, a patient's coping capabilities are influenced by, depend on, and/or are entwined with their internal resources and support networks. Therefore, effective counseling involves examining all three of these factors and noticing how they relate to one another. Psychotherapy is one of many types of specific interventions that the social worker can employ when working with patients with Crohn's Disease. Psychotherapy and some of its techniques have already been discussed in the aforementioned case study with Mrs. [...]


[...] Therapy of Crohn's disease in childhood. Pediatric Drugs, 2(3), 193-203. Boas, M. (2007). SSBT 501: Advanced Child and Adolescent Development and Dysfunction class. Lecture on Bullying and Relational Aggression on October 3, 2007. Case Western Reserve University, Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences. Corman, M.L. (2005). Colon and Rectal Surgery. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins Publishing. Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America, The. (2007). Retrieved November 10, 2007, from http://www.ccfa.org/. Crohn's-Disease-and-Stress. (2007). Retrieved November 12, 2007, from http://www.crohns-disease-and-stress.com/fish-oil-for-crohns-disease.html. Falvo, D.R. (2005). [...]


[...] Two of the drugs are Humira and Remicade. ? Corticosteroids ? a class of anti-inflammatory drugs used for treatment of severe Crohn's Disease. Side effects are extremely severe and, as a result, steroids are usually avoided in favor of other drugs with less side effects. Side effects of high doses of steroids include, but are not limited to Cushing's syndrome (severe swelling and puffiness in the face), mania, irritability, insomnia, hypertension, osteoporosis, suppression of immune system functioning, and avascular necrosis of long bones. [...]

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