- Assessment of the risk for Crohn's disease
- Analysis of the three relevant genetic variations
- Immediate detection of the first symptoms
- Personalized nutrition recommendations for symptom relief
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The inflammatory gastro-intestinal disease known as Crohn's disease (named after Burrill Bernard Crohn, the first gastroenterologist who identified and described it) is a chronic and progressive intestinal disease that can affect the entire digestive tract. An abnormal immune reaction causes inflammation of the intestine in multiple locations, which causes digestive problems such as diarrhea and cramps. The inflammation mostly occurs in the colon and small intestine, and more rarely the mouth and esophagus. Damage to the intestinal tissue increases if the inflammation persists.
Approximately one in 700 Europeans suffer from this inflammatory intestinal disease (Crohn's disease), which can be triggered by an inherited error in the intestine gene 1 (NOD2). This gene is involved in the function of the immune system. Symptoms most often appear for the first time in people between 16 and 35, or people over 60. Crohn's disease is usually intermittent, with periods of remission alternating with intensive manifestation of symptoms. However, in some cases, this disease can also be chronically active. In many cases, it can take years to correctly diagnose the disease because the first symptoms are temporary digestive issues. Left untreated, the disease leads to a variety of conditions which must be properly treated.
The cause of the disease is not fully understood. Better understanding of the disease may lead to improved treatments. Currently, the best treatment consists of alleviating symptoms and using immunosuppresants to reduce the immune reaction.
Treatment is aimed at reducing the severity of episodes, preventing further attacks, and treating complications such as strictures, fistulas and perforation of the intestinal tissue. In most cases this leads to a significant improvement in the quality of life of those affected. Because many cases are not diagnosed, this genetic test is recommended for people with recurring digestive problems, as it identifies an increased risk of inflammatory bowel disease, and where applicable, the right diagnosis.