WHAT IS CROHN’S DISEASE?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory process that primarily involves any part of the digestive tract. Although it may cause inflammation from the mouth to the anus, it usually affects the last part of the small intestines (terminal ileum) and the colon.
Crohn’s disease may recur at various times over a lifetime. Some people have long periods of remission, when they are symptom free, then have acute attacks. There is no way to predict when the attacks will occur.
WHAT ARE THE SYMPTOMS OF CROHN’S DISEASE?
Because Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the GI tract, the symptoms can vary. Common symptoms are cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, and bloating. Not all patients have these symptoms. Other symptoms include anal pain and infections as well as arthritis.
WHO DOES CROHN’S DISEASE AFFECT?
Any age group can be affected, but it is usually 16-40 years old. It affects men and women equally. About 20% of patients have a relative with Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s disease is similar to a condition called Ulcerative Colitis. They are both called Inflammatory Bowel Disease.