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Overview of a disease using Crohn's disease as an example

Select one disease of the respiratory or digestive system and overview it in detail. Please locate and include at least one image in your post. Pay special attention to the mechanism of disease associated with your selection and discuss that in detail as well. If the mechanisms seem controllable, what action would you recommend to a patient who is trying to prevent respiratory or digestive system diseases?

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Consider Crohn's disease an example:

Definition:
Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Inflammatory bowel diseases are autoimmune diseases, meaning that the body's own immune system is the cause of the disease. Crohn's disease is characterized by chronic inflammation of the bowel, most commonly the small intestine and the first part of the colon (CCFA, n.d.).

Mechanism of disease or pathophysiology:
IBD is not fully understood, but research shows that Crohn's disease and other types of IBD are likely due to hereditary factors that make a person more susceptible to developing a malfunction of the immune system. The results in the body's immune cells attacking normal GI bacteria or other elements identified as foreign in the walls of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It is hypothesized that there might be an environmental influence that triggers this process (Sartor, 2006).

The overactivity of the immune system results in chronic inflammation in the walls of the GI tract, resulting in damage to the tissues. Part of the damage is due to transient breakdown of the protective mucosal barrier than lines the inner walls of the GI tract and other problems are thought to be due to disturbances of the normal bacterial flora (Sartor, 2006).

Symptoms:
Common symptoms of the disease include diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloody stools, ulcers, and weight loss (Mayo Clinic, 2011). These and other possible symptoms are described in ...

Solution Summary

When giving an overview or description of a disease there are specific topics that are generally covered in the description. These include: disease definition, pathophysiology, symptoms, risk factors, complications, diagnosis, treatment, and preventive measures. This article uses Crohn's disease as an example of how to to write an overview of a certain disease.

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