Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is a severe, chronic inflammatory bowel disease. It causes inflammation, ulcers, and bleeding in the digestive tract. It usually affects the end portion of the small intestine called the ileum. However, any part of the digestive tract can be affected, from the mouth to the anus.

  • Causes


    The cause of Crohn's disease is not known.
    Inflammatory bowel diseases,
    such as ulcerative colitis
    and Crohn's disease, seem to run in some families. Some researchers think that it is due to a reaction to a virus or bacteria. The immune system overreacts and causes damage to the intestines.

  • Definition


    Crohn's disease is a severe, chronic inflammatory bowel disease. It causes inflammation,
    ulcers, and bleeding in the digestive tract. It usually affects the end portion of the small intestine called the ileum. However, any part of the digestive tract can be affected, from the mouth to the anus.

    Small Intestine
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  • Diagnosis

    You will be asked about your symptoms and medical history. A physical exam will be done.

    Your bodily fluids, tissues, and waste products may need to be tested. This can be done with:

    • Blood tests
    • Biopsy
    • Stool tests

    Pictures of your bodily structures may need to be taken. This can be done with:

    • Barium swallow
    • Barium enema x-ray

    Your rectum and colon may need to be examined. This can be done with:

    • Flexible sigmoidoscopy
    • Colonoscopy

  • Prevention

    Women may be able to reduce their risk of Crohn's disease through exercise. Talk to your doctor about an exercise program that is best for you.

  • Risk Factors

    People of Jewish heritage are more likely to get Crohn's disease. Your risk may also be increased if you have family members with inflammatory bowel disease.

  • Symptoms


    Symptoms include:

    • Diarrhea
    • Abdominal cramps and pain
    • Rectal bleeding
    • Weight loss
    • Fatigue, weakness
    • Nausea
    • Fever
    • Mouth sores
    • Sores, abscesses in the anal area

  • Treatment

    Treatment may include: