Crohn’s Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Diagnosis and Treatment

It is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that most commonly affects the ileum (the last part of the small intestine, colon, and rectum).

This disease is not limited to a particular age group. Therefore, it is the same in both men and women.


They can be mild or severe, which are:

Abdominal pain (cramps), diarrhea, abdominal distension, anal pain or suppuration, fever, weight loss, and decreased appetite. Other symptoms may include joint pain, skin lesions or ulcers, rectal abscess, and fissures.


The exact cause of Crohn‘s disease is unknown, although it is believed that the malfunctioning of the immune system and a bacterial infection may be at the root of its development. Studies have determined that the body’s response to bacteria can cause the digestive tract lining to become inflamed. It is also believed that a slight genetic tendency contributes to the probability that people who have a family history of the disease are more susceptible to its development.


A diagnosis of Crohn’s disease is usually made after the gastroenterologist has ruled out other problems that present with similar symptoms, such as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and colon cancer. Procedures such as blood tests, a colonoscopy, barium enema, or several x-rays can be used to diagnose the disease.


The initial treatment of this condition is almost always done with medications, diet, and changes in lifestyle as recommended by the gastroenterologist. Any therapy aims to reduce the inflammation that triggers the symptoms. Although there is no “cure,” medical treatment can reduce these symptoms to generate greater comfort. Corticosteroids can reduce this inflammation. In more advanced cases, surgery may be necessary.


The persistence of Crohn’s symptoms, the lack of response to the medication, the formation of abscesses, and severe anal disease may indicate that surgery is necessary. In case the bowel is blocked, the intestine is punctured, or there is significant bleeding due to Crohn’s disease, emergency surgery may be required.