What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn's disease is a chronic, autoimmune digestive disorder that causes inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Inflammation is caused by the body’s immune system attack healthy cells in the GI tract. Most commonly, Crohn’s affects your small intestine and the colon (large intestine), which moves stool to the rectum. However, the disease can affect any part of your digestive tract, from your mouth to your anus. Crohn's disease can be both painful and debilitating, and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications. Treatment options are available to help with the symptoms of Crohn’s.
Risk factors
  • Family history. Crohn's disease appears to run in families. 
  • Where you live. Crohn's disease is more common in developed countries than developing ones. It's also more common in urban than rural areas.
  • Cigarette smoking. Smokers have double the risk of developing Crohn's 
  • Lab tests
  • Blood tests take a blood sample and send the sample to a lab to test for changes in red and white blood cells.
  • Stool tests analyze a sample of stool. They can rule out other causes of digestive diseases.
  • Upper gastrointestinal (GI) series is a procedure in which a doctor uses x-rays, fluoroscopy, and barium to view the upper GI tract
  • Computed tomography (CT) scan uses a combination of x-rays and computer technology to create images of the digestive tract.


  • Intestinal endoscopy
  • Colonoscopy is a procedure in which a doctor uses a long, flexible, narrow tube with a light and tiny camera on one end to look inside the rectum and colon.
  • Upper GI endoscopy. In an upper GI endoscopy, a doctor uses an endoscope to see inside the upper GI tract.
  • Enteroscopy examines the small intestine with a special, longer endoscope. 
  • Capsule endoscopy. In capsule endoscopy, you swallow a capsule containing a tiny camera that allows your doctor to see inside your digestive tract.
Currently, there is no cure for Crohn's disease, however there are some things that can help to control it. Often people need treatment for symptoms and to improve their quality of life.
  • Affects about 780,000 Americans
  • 20-25% of Crohn's disease cases are diagnosed in children under 18.
  • 5-20% of people with Crohn's disease have a relative with it.
  • If both parents have Crohn's disease, the risk of developing it is as high as 36 %.
about crohn's disease

  • "Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR)." Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 27 Oct. 2016. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
  • "Crohn's Disease | NIDDK." National Institutes of Health. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
  • Crohn's Disease." Crohn's Disease | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
  • "Crohns Disease Treatment." Crohns Disease Treatment | Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library. Johns Hopkins Medicine Health Library, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
  • "Crohn's Disease." Mayo Clinic. Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 14 Aug. 2014. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
  • Tidy, Dr Colin. "Crohn's Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Symptoms." Crohn's Disease | Symptoms | Patient. Patient.info, n.d. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.
  • Konkel, Lindsey. "What Is Crohn's Disease?" Crohn's Disease - Prevelance, Causes & Risks | Everyday Health. Veryday Health Media, LLC, 10 Mar. 2017. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.

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