Celiac Plexus Block Can Help Patients Suffering from Crohn’s Disease

Celiac Plexus Block Can Help Patients Suffering from Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a condition affecting the digestive system and can cause painful inflammatory symptoms. These painful symptoms can be chronic as there is no known cure for this disease. Nerve blocks can reduce the painful symptoms you may feel due to your overactive inflammatory response in the intestinal tract.


What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It can appear anywhere in the GI tract, from the mouth down to the colon. Crohn’s disease sometimes is called regional enteritis or ileitis. It and a similar condition called ulcerative colitis are referred to together as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). These illnesses are known for their unpredictable flares and remissions. The inflammation usually starts in one or more areas of the mucus that lines the inside of the intestines. The disease may invade deeper tissues of the intestinal wall and spread to involve more areas of the bowel.

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Ulcers may form at the sites of the most intense inflammation. The ulcers may spread and become very large but are usually separated by areas of relatively healthy tissue with little or no inflammation. The mucosal lining of the intestines in Crohn’s disease is often described as looking like a cobblestone street, with areas of ulceration separated by narrow areas of healthy tissue.

The damage to the intestinal wall caused by the inflammation results in a wide variety of symptoms and complications. The inflammation damages the lining of the intestine so that it cannot absorb nutrients, water, and fats from the food you eat. This is called malabsorption, and it can result in malnutrition, dehydration, vitamin and mineral deficiencies, gallstones, and painful kidney stones.


What is a Celiac Plexus Block?

The celiac plexus is a nerve bundle in the upper abdomen. It is located behind the pancreas and near the aorta. The celiac nerves connect the pancreas, gall bladder, intestines, liver, and stomach to the brain and spinal cord. Pancreatic tumors often cause pain by pressing on and injuring these nerves. A celiac plexus block is a procedure that damages the celiac nerves so they cannot send pain messages to the brain. It is sometimes used to treat abdominal pain for a variety of conditions. A doctor will inject a painkiller to numb the celiac nerves. Then they inject a substance to damage the nerves.


How Can a Celiac Plexus Block Help Patients Who have Crohn’s Disease?

Celiac plexus blocks can be used for conditions that cause painful abdominal symptoms. The inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can put pressure on the nerve bundles of the GI tract. This pressure can lead to chronic abdominal pain that may not be alleviated with medications. A celiac plexus block can stop the pain from the nerve bundles of your GI tract by numbing the signals that they send to your brain. Stopping these signals can stop the pain in the abdomen associated with Crohn’s disease.

If you have Crohn’s disease and would like to know more about nerve blocks, contact the Chicago pain management center for more information.