Ileitis triggers inflammation and irritation of the ileum. It presents the same symptoms as ileocolitis and it is necessary to pay attention to any formation of fistulas and inflammatory abscesses in the lower right-hand section of the abdomen. Such complications may indicate a more severe case of ileitis, known as isolated ileitis – the second most common type of Crohn’s disease. Moreover, it may be difficult to differentiate ileitis from appendicitis because they tend to cause pain within the same area.
It all comes down to monitoring and managing inflammation. Doing so can prevent stricturing and possibly reduce the need for or the risks associated with medical therapy, surgery, or other forms of treatment. “Crohn’s is not an illness that goes away in a day or overnight; it can span decades. By taking care of inflammation in the near term, you’re also working to minimize the progressive damage that can accumulate over a lifetime,” said James F. Marion, professor of medicine at New York’s Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital. Moreover, factors such as severity and degree of the inflammation affect decision making with regards to treatment. “An important point to consider is that recent studies evaluating patients with a recent diagnosis of Crohn's that is moderately severe suggest that more aggressive therapy (what is referred to as combination or step-down therapy) early in the disease course works better than the more traditional approach of starting with less aggressive drugs and slowly increasing therapy over time (the step-up approach),” said Dr. Achkar.