What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s Disease is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease, or an IBD. Affecting around 780,000 Americans, the disease causes inflammation in the bowel tissue of the digestive tract. Symptoms can vary, but generally include:

  • Abdominal Cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Bloody stool
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Persistent need to use the bathroom
  • Constipation
  • Feeling of incomplete bowel removal

Less common symptoms can also include:

  • Fever and fatigue
  • Mouth sores
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Night Sweats
  • Inflammation of skin, eyes, joints, liver or bile ducts

The causes of Crohn’s Disease are still unknown. People with a family history of the disease are more likely to suffer from it. Those with parents, siblings, or children affected by the disease are at highest risk.

The types of Crohn’s Disease are dependant on which part of the tract is affected. The different types include:

Ileocolitis, which affects the ends of both the small and large intestines. Commonly, people experience cramping, diarrhea and pain in the abdomen, and can experience weight loss.

Ileitis, which affects only the small intestines, shares the same symptoms as Ileocolitis.

Jejunoileitis causes inflammation in random parts of the upper half of the small intestine. It can cause diarrhea, abdominal pains, and cramps, especially after eating.

Gastroduodenal affects the small intestine and the stomach, and can cause nausea, vomiting, loss and appetite and weight loss.

Crohn’s (Granulomatous) Colitis causes rectal bleeding and diarrhea, and affects the colon.

Those who have Crohn’s Disease can experience symptoms irregularly. The disease is chronic, and has no cure. It cannot be self-diagnosed, and can only be diagnosed by a professional. If you have experienced any of the major symptoms listed above, visit your doctor immediately.