Chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, Crohn’s disease belongs to a group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel diseases or IBD. It can affect any part of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus. While symptoms vary from patient to patient, Crohn’s disease can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, and fatigue. Some people may be symptom-free most of their lives, while others can have severe chronic symptoms that never go away.
Common Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
- Persistent diarrhea
- Frequent/urgent need for bowel movement
- Rectal bleeding
- Abdominal cramping and pain
- The sensation of incomplete bowel evacuation
- Constipation, which can lead to bowel obstruction
Other Effects of Crohn’s Disease
While the disease is located in the gastrointestinal tract, it can affect your overall health and cause medical issues such as:
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Low energy and fatigue
- Delayed growth and development in children
- Tears in the anus lining (fissures) which can cause pain and bleeding during bowel movements.
- Formation of a fistula, an abnormal channel that forms between one part of the intestine and another, or between the intestine and the bladder, vagina, or skin or stricture, which is a narrowing of the intestine due to chronic inflammation.
Is there a Cure for Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease cannot be cured, treatment such as medications are used to slow the progression of the disease. If these aren’t effective, a patient may require surgery. Due to increased risk, Crohn’s patients may need to receive regular screening for colorectal cancer.