Abdominal Pain and Cramping with Mucus Complaint

Case Scenario:

A 30-year-old male presents to the clinic with a chief complaint of abdominal pain and cramping with mucus in his stool worsening over the last few weeks.  He denies any fever but has had an increase in fatigue.  He reports a weight loss of 10 pounds in the last month.  His family history reveals his brother was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.  His labs reveal an elevated ESR, normal B12, and negative stool testing.  He is sent for a plain abdominal x-ray which was normal.

The Assignment

Develop a 1- to 2-page case study analysis in which you:

  • Explain why you think the patient presented the symptoms described.
  • Identify the genes that may be associated with the development of the disease.
  • Explain the process of immunosuppression and the effect it has on body systems.

Things to remember:

  • APA format is required for all assignments
  • A minimum of three scholarly references is required for each assignment
  • Be sure that your references are no older than five years from the publication date
  • The writing center has APA templates that can be used and are very helpful

The objectives for this week are as follows:

  • Evaluate cellular processes and alterations within cellular processes
  • Analyze alterations in the immune system that result in disease processes
  • Identify racial/ethnic variables that may impact physiological functioning
  • Evaluate the impact of patient characteristics on disorders and altered physiology

Abdominal Pain and Cramping with Mucus Complaint

Case Study Analysis: Crohn’s Disease Presentation

Patient Presentation: A 30-year-old male presents with abdominal pain, cramping, mucus in stool, fatigue, and recent weight loss. He denies fever but mentions a familial history of Crohn’s disease, with his brother being affected. Lab results show elevated ESR, normal B12, and negative stool testing. Plain abdominal x-ray appears normal.

Analysis: Given the patient’s symptoms and family history, Crohn’s disease is a likely diagnosis. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The patient’s symptoms of abdominal pain, cramping, mucus in stool, fatigue, and weight loss are typical of Crohn’s disease. Elevated ESR and negative stool testing further support the diagnosis, as they are commonly associated with inflammation in Crohn’s disease. The normal B12 level helps differentiate Crohn’s disease from other gastrointestinal disorders like celiac disease, where B12 deficiency is common due to malabsorption.

Genetic Factors: Genetic predisposition plays a significant role in the development of Crohn’s disease. Several genes have been implicated in its pathogenesis, including NOD2/CARD15, ATG16L1, and IL23R. These genes are involved in regulating the immune response and maintaining gut homeostasis. Variations in these genes can disrupt immune regulation, leading to an exaggerated inflammatory response characteristic of Crohn’s disease.

Immunosuppression: Immunosuppression refers to the suppression of the immune system’s activity, commonly achieved through medications like corticosteroids, immunomodulators, and biologic therapies. In Crohn’s disease, immunosuppression is often used to control inflammation and manage symptoms. These medications target different components of the immune system, such as cytokines or immune cells, to reduce the inflammatory response.

Effect on Body Systems: Immunosuppression in Crohn’s disease primarily affects the gastrointestinal system by reducing inflammation and promoting mucosal healing. However, it can also impact other body systems. Prolonged immunosuppression may increase the risk of infections due to compromised immune function. Additionally, certain medications used for immunosuppression, such as corticosteroids, can have systemic side effects like osteoporosis, hypertension, and glucose intolerance.

In conclusion, the patient’s presentation, including symptoms, family history, and laboratory findings, suggests a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. Genetic predisposition and immunosuppression play crucial roles in the development and management of this condition. Understanding these factors is essential for effective management and improving patient outcomes.


  1. Xavier RJ, Podolsky DK. Unravelling the pathogenesis of inflammatory bowel disease. Nature. 2007;448(7152):427-434.
  2. Sands BE. Genetic and epigenetic factors in the mucosal immune system predisposing to inflammatory bowel disease. Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2015;112(30):9077-9078.
  3. Singh S, Facciorusso A, Dulai PS, Jairath V, Sandborn WJ. Comparative Risk of Serious Infections With Biologic and/or Immunosuppressive Therapy in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Diseases: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2020;18(1):69-81.e3.
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