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Crohn's Disease

Also called: Regional enteritis, Regional ileitis

Summary

Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the digestive system. It is one of a group of diseases called inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn's can affect any area from the mouth to the anus. It often affects the lower part of the small intestine called the ileum.

The cause of Crohn's disease is unknown. It may be due to an abnormal reaction by the body's immune system. It also seems to run in some families. It most commonly starts between the ages of 13 and 30.

The most common symptoms are pain in the abdomen and diarrhea. Other symptoms include

  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Weight loss
  • Fever

Your doctor will diagnose Crohn's disease with a physical exam, lab tests, imaging tests, and a colonoscopy.

Crohn's can cause complications, such as intestinal blockages, ulcers in the intestine, and problems getting enough nutrients. People with Crohn's can also have joint pain and skin problems. Children with the disease may have growth problems.

There is no cure for Crohn's. Treatment can help control symptoms, and may include medicines, nutrition supplements, and/or surgery. Some people have long periods of remission, when they are free of symptoms.

NIH: National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases

Start Here

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Diagnosis and Tests

  • Bacteria Culture Test From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • C-Reactive Protein (CRP) Test From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • Colonoscopy: MedlinePlus Health Topic From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine) Also in Spanish
  • (American College of Radiology, Radiological Society of North America) Also in
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in
  • (American Association for Clinical Chemistry)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases) Also in

Treatments and Therapies

  • (Consumers Union of U.S.)
  • Colostomy - slideshow (On it differed) Also in Spanish
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health)
  • (UpToDate)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Living With

  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition) - PDF
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research) Also in
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Related Issues

  • (Spondylitis Association of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases)

Genetics

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Library of Medicine)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Human Genome Research Institute)

Health Check Tools

  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Statistics and Research

  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Striking laughter

  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)
  • From the National Institutes of Health (National Institutes of Health)

Journal Articles References and abstracts from MEDLINE/PubMed (National Library of Medicine)

Find an Expert

  • (American College of Gastroenterology)
  • From the National Institutes of Health

Children

  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)
  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Nemours Foundation)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Teenagers

  • (Nemours Foundation) Also in
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Women

  • (Department of Health and Human Services, Office on Women's Health)
  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Adults

  • (Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America)

Patient Handouts