Granulomas are white blood cell clusters that are sometimes found in people with Crohn’s disease. They can make a Crohn’s diagnosis more definitive. Treatments don’t necessarily change based on granulomas being present.
One of the ways to more confidently confirm a Crohn’s disease diagnosis is by identifying granulomas, or nodules of white blood cells and other tissues.
This article will provide more detail on granulomas and their connection to Crohn’s disease, as well as what their presence can mean in the context of diagnosing the condition.
A granuloma is a nodule or lump of white blood cells and other tissues. Granulomas can develop underneath the skin or deep inside the body in the lungs or intestines. They may be found in the intestines during surgery or as part of an endoscopy-related biopsy.
Granulomas are typically noncancerous and part of the body’s response to inflammation, infection, or foreign objects. They may be caused by diseases, irritating substances, and autoimmune conditions.
They try to protect the body in two ways:
- keeping an infection in one place and preventing it from spreading
- isolating an irritant or foreign object to prevent it from doing more damage
More research is needed to understand exactly why granulomas are formed in some individuals with Crohn’s disease.
Recent research on this topic doesn’t provide information on how often granulomas are found in people with Crohn’s disease. However, older research found a large range of
One theory is that granulomas are the body’s way of trying to deal with the cause of Crohn’s. The
This means some individuals with granulomas may experience more unpleasant symptoms and require more aggressive management of their Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s disease symptoms
In general, these are the symptoms you may experience with Crohn’s disease with or without granulomas present:
- abdominal cramps
- blood in your stool
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
- feeling as if your bowels aren’t empty after a bowel movement
- feeling a frequent need for bowel movements
You can read more about Crohn’s disease at Healthline.
The exact significance of the development of granulomas in those with Crohn’s disease and any effect granulomas may have on symptoms still requires more research, though.
There is currently no known cure for Crohn’s disease. However, treatment for intestinal granulomas in people with Crohn’s disease focuses on reducing the inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease.
Anti-inflammatory medications and in some cases surgery can be used to help control the amount of inflammation individuals experience. When
In addition to medication and surgery, doctors may suggest dietary adjustments since some foods can trigger inflammation in the GI tract for those with Crohn’s disease. If you would like to learn more about this, information on Crohn’s-friendly diets is available here.
Finding intestinal granulomas can be one way to more definitely diagnose an individual with Crohn’s disease. It’s important to keep in mind that it’s still possible to have Crohn’s disease without granulomas and granulomas aren’t just limited to those with Crohn’s disease, though.
Future research will hopefully be able to offer more guidance into why some individuals with Crohn’s disease develop granulomas and others do not. It will also hopefully shed more light on how granulomas affect Crohn’s disease.