Three months ago you asked us to help because Peter was showing signs of having an Inflammatory Bowel Disease such as diarrhea and pain in his abdomen area. The first procedure we had to do were x-rays. We did a plain x-ray of the abdomen. We took the x-ray and examined it to see if there was any narrowing of the intestine. He did have some narrowing in his large intestine which suggested that he had Ulcerative Colitis. When we saw this we knew he needed more testing to see which type of IBD he had. The next test we did was we gave him an Endoscopy. He had to drink Miralax so that he would empty his digestive system. We used a thin, flexible tube called a scope to explore parts of the gastrointestinal tract. When the pictures came back we saw that there were ulcers in part of his tract. This showed us that he had Crohn’s. Throughout this, we had to take many blood tests that also show that he has Crohn’s. Our doctors don’t know what causes Crohn’s, but they have a few ideas of what may have been a factor in it. One of the causes may be an autoimmune reaction. This is when your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body. Experts think bacteria in your digestive tract can mistakenly trigger your immune system. This immune response causes inflammation, leading to symptoms of Crohn’s. Another cause may be genes. Crohns sometimes runs in families. Research shows that if you have a parent or sibling with Crohn’s, you may be more likely to develop the disease. Other factors could be smoking, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, and a high-fat diet. Most of the common symptoms are diarrhea, cramping and pain in your abdomen, and weight loss. Other symptoms include amnesia, eye redness or pain, feeling tired, fever, joint pain or sourness, nausea or loss of appetite, and skin changes that involve red, tender bumps under the skin. If these symptoms worsen or don’t go away, see a specialist immediately. Your symptoms may vary depending on the location and severity of your inflammation. Some doctors think that stress can make symptoms worse. Also, some foods could also trigger worse symptoms. Even though there is no cure some medicines can reduce symptoms. Here are some medicines that would be appropriate for your son. One type of medication is Aminosalicylates. These are medicines that contain 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA), this helps control inflammation. Doctors use this for newly diagnosed patients with mild symptoms. Some Aminosalicylates include balsalazide, mesalamine, olsalazine, and sulfasalazine. Some side effects of this could be, diarrhea, headaches, and heartburn. Another type of medication could be Corticosteroids. They are also known as steroids, help reduce the activity of your immune systems and decrees inflammation. Some steroids include budesonide, hydrocortisone, methylprednisolone, and prednisone. Some symptoms of this treatment could be, acne, bone mass loss, high blood glucose, and high blood pressure. The last treatment we could consider would be Immunomodulators. These medicines reduce immune systems activity, results in less inflammation in your digestive tract. Some Immunomodulators are, 6-mercaptopurine, azathioprine, cyclosporine, and methotrexate. Some symptoms may include, a low white blood cell count, feeling tired, nausea, and vomiting.As you may know, Crohn’s is not a life-threatening disease if taking the right precautions. Actually, you will never really notice it is there if you take the care to get the right medication and stay on a healthy diet. In the beginning, your son will be having to go to the bathroom a lot and almost every time will have blood in his stools. You can prevent this from becoming consistent by finding out how your son reacts to food and see which ones affect him. Once you figure this out you can eliminate this from his normal life. Some of the main foods are dairy, sugar, and gluten. It is also sometimes hard to find the right medicine for each unique person so your son might be on a lot of different medicine for the next two years. Once we find the right medicine and your son is on a healthy diet, he should start showing signs of remission. These signs could be having solid stools, less cramping, weight gain, and not using the restroom as much. Your son when he grows up may have a chance that his kids could have IBD as well. We don’t directly know that all diseases come from genes. Sometimes kids get the disease and don’t have anyone in there family that has any type of IBD. There is a possible chance that his children could have the disease and there is also a chance that they couldn’t have the disease.If you have any more questions or want more information you could contact the specialist at Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. You could also go to the Crohn’s and Colitis foundation’s website. Also if you have any questions you can always email or call me.