What's in a name? Burrill Crohn was reluctant to have gut disease called after him

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation in part of the gastrointestinal tract

Diseases named after people.

This week: Crohn's disease

IN 1932 Dr Burrill Crohn and two fellow American gastroenterologists published research into inflammatory bowel disease. Its significance led to Crohn reluctantly having his name linked to the new condition the trio had discovered.

Throughout Crohn's long medical career he insisted on calling the disease regional ileitis. He felt his name only became eponymous with it because it was alphabetically before fellow researchers Ginzburg and Oppenheimer.

The disease causes inflammation in part of the gastrointestinal tract, which runs all the way from the mouth to the anus via the gut.

Its trigger is unclear but it is thought genetic or environmental factors play a part. It is often diagnosed in the under-40s and is slightly more prevalent in women. One in 650 people in the UK are affected.

Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea and weight loss. It cannot be cured but can be managed with steroid tablets and even surgery to remove part of the gut.

© Solo dmg media

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