Crohn’s Disease

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory process which most commonly affects the last part of the small intestine (ileum) and/or the large intestine (colon and rectum).

What are the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease?

Not all patients experience all of these symptoms, and some may experience none of them.

  • Cramping – abdominal pain

  • Diarrhea

  • Fever

  • Weight loss

  • Bloating

  • Anal pain or drainage

  • Skin lesions

  • Rectal abscess

  • Fissure

  • Joint pain

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

The exact cause is not known. However, immunologic and/or bacterial causes are suggested. Crohn’s disease is not contagious, but it has slight genetic (inherited) tendency.

How is Crohn’s Disease Treated?

There is no “cure” for Crohn’s disease, but medical therapy provides a means to treat early Crohn’s disease and relieve its symptoms. The most common drugs prescribed are corticosteroids, such as prednisone and methylprednisolone, and various anti-inflammatory agents. Other drugs occasionally used include 6-mercaptopurine and azathioprine (immunosuppressive) and Metronidazole (an antibiotic with immune system effects).

Surgery may be recommended for complications like perforation of the intestine, obstruction of the bowel, or significant bleeding, abscess formation, fistulas, severe anal disease or persistence of the disease even after appropriate medical treatment.

Surgical removal of the diseased portion of the bowel often provides effective long-term relief of symptoms and frequently limits or eliminates the need for ongoing use of prescribed medications.

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