HEALTHWATCH: New treatment for Crohn's disease


Published 06/11 2014 06:05PM

Updated 06/11 2014 06:14PM

Green Bay (WFRV) Crohn's Disease is an inflammatory bowel disease. It causes inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which can lead to severe abdominal pain and diarrhea.

While there's no known cure for Crohn's - therapies can greatly reduce the symptoms and even bring about long-term remission.

High school junior Haley Malcore is having a good checkup, "I've been feeling good lately too so it's definitely a lot better," said Haley Malcore, who has Crohn's Disease.

"She is doing very well right now. She is in remission right now," said Dr. Bogdan Cristescu, Gastroenterologist, Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

Last spring Haley started having severe abdominal pain.

"I couldn't even walk, I had to hunch over and walk," Haley says.

At first her family doctor thought she was constipated, but the pain continued and was effecting Haley's life.

"I would take tests, I didn't even care, I just wanted to get through the day and go home and sleep," explained Haley.

Haley ended up in the emergency room, where doctors took a CAT scan and realized there was definitely more wrong than appendisitis or stomach ache.

Haley was sent to Dr. Bogdan Cristescu. Dr. Cristescu performed a colonoscopy which showed Haley had Crohn's disease.

"Most people present with abdominal pain in the right lower side, diarrhea, sometimes bloody diarrhea," explained Dr. Cristescu.

Haley was put on a strict diet and medication.

"She responded well. She did have a flare up of some milder symptoms about a month later after taking the medication," Dr. Cistescu says.

"I had no strength to play basketball or even do anything active," Haley says. "I never thought I would be able to play basketball again, or go back to my regular life the pain was that bad."  

Dr. Cristescu started Haley on medication and an IV infusion which is given every 8 weeks.

"Together the two of them they are one of the aggressive types of treatments we use in moderate to severe Chron's and she is currently in stable remission," Dr. Cristescu says.

Haley agrees, "Now I'm back to normal life. I am very thankful for the doctor, I've been pain free ever since then."

With treatment, many people with Crohn's Disease are able to live a normal life. Aurora BayCare is presenting a fundraiser to raise money and awareness to the issue. Take Steps for Crohn's and Colitis is on Sunday, June 22nd at Aurora BayCare Medical Center.

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