Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease of the intestine. It primarily causes ulceration (breaks in the lining) of the small and large intestines, but can affect the digestive sytem anywhere from the mouth to the anus. Common symptoms of Crohn's disease include abdominal pain, diarrhoea and weight loss.
The evidence indicates that wireless capsule endoscopy identifies small bowel lesions suggestive of Crohn's disease in 43-71% of patients with normal findings on conventional tests.
Ref: NICE Interventional Procedures Overview: Wireless capsule endoscopy
(ALERT: If you have abdominal pain as a significant feature, you should have radiological imaging to exclude a stricture prior to CE).
Obscure Gut Bleeding
Obscure gastro-intestinal bleeding is defined as bleeding of unknown origin that persists or recurs after a negative initial or primary endoscopy (colonoscopy and/or upper endoscopy). Diagnosis may be difficult because often bleeding can be slow and/or intermittent. Patients may experience prolonged blood loss, leading to iron deficiency (anaemia) and a feeling of fatigue and or weariness.A common source of gastrointestinal bleeding is the small intestine. This can result from several causes. The most common of these causes include vascular lesions (angioplasia), small bowel tumours, coeliac disease and Crohn’s disease.
The published evidence suggests that wireless capsule endoscopy can detect a bleeding source in 31–76% of patients with obscure gastrointestinal bleeding.
Ref: NICE Interventional Procedures Overview: Wireless capsule endoscopy)
Coeliac disease (pronounced see-liac, spelt celiac disease in other countries) is an autoimmune disease. Gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye triggers an immune reaction in people with coeliac disease. This means that eating gluten damages the lining of the small intestine. Other parts of the body may be affected.
Small Bowel Gut Polyps
These extra growths in the lining of the small bowel may be genetic or spontaneous. Some have a risk of developing into cancer and many may bleed. Some are associated with pigmented skin lesions including the lips.