If you have Crohn's disease, you may have heard the word 'fistula' from time to time, and you may be wondering what exactly it might be. There are a lot of strange things that can happen in the body, and the medical community often uses terms that are hard for the average person to understand. Very simply, a Crohn's disease fistula is a narrow type of tunnel that can grow from your intestine to another organ of the body. About a quarter of the people who have crohn's disease will develop these and they require additional treatment.
A fistula often occurs in the intestines, and will normally form between the intestinal wall and the bladder. It can also attach to the abdominal wall or other nearby organ. For women, this can be a problem with any part of the reproductive system. This can cause a women who does not know she has Crohn's, or even one who does, to assume she is having problems with the reproductive system. In a way she is, but probably not for the reasons she thinks.
The biggest problem with fistulas is that they are created by infection, and they carry this infection to any organ they connect to. This means that if it tunnels out and connects to the bladder, you are going to get a bladder infection. If it goes to the reproductive system, there will be infections there as well. If something like this were left unattended, it can cause some pretty nasty issues with the entire body. There are times the fistulas will go from a part of the intestine to another part of it, and with that the infection is contained to the intestines. That does not mean they do not need to be treated, however.
Once fistulas are found, they must be deal with immediately. There are many options available to your doctor in deciding which treatment to choose. They may want to try inflammatory drugs, and at times, an antibiotic to see if the fistula will close and heal on their own, but there are also occasions when a medical procedure is needed to close them off. Depending on how bad things appear, you may need massive amounts of antibiotics to stop infection from spreading. In many cases, the fistula must be drained, detached, and the opening closed.
Your doctor can tell you more about Crohn's disease fistula, and what you might experience if one has formed. You will usually know that something is wrong, you just will not know what it is at first. It can show up as problems in other areas before you realize it might have something to do with your Crohn's. Fistula's, if left untreated they can be fatal, depending on where they are and if they are open at both ends. No matter how serious they are, they all need to be taken care of to insure that you are going to be okay. The complications caused by a Crohn's disease fistula can be hard to deal with, but knowing what is going on so so you can get treatment is the best thing you can do for your body and the quality of your life.
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Source by Sharon Dobson