Crohn’s Disease: Causes, Symptoms, and Treatment

Originally posted on September 22, 2022 @ 7:24 pm

Life-threatening complications from Crohn’s disease can occasionally occur.
The symptoms of crohn’s disease include exhaustion, anaemia, weight loss, diarrhoea, and abdominal pain. While some people live symptom-free for most of their lives, others may suffer from severe chronic symptoms that never go away.
There is no remedy for Crohn’s disease. The progression of the illness is slowed down by drugs such as immunosuppressants and steroids. A patient might need surgery if these are ineffective. Crohn’s disease patients are also more likely to get colorectal cancer, so they may need to get tested for it more often.

What Is Crohn’s Disease?

Your digestive system’s portion becomes inflamed as a result of Crohn’s disease. Although any part of it can be impacted by Crohn’s, the small intestine and colon are the most frequently affected.

Inflammatory bowel disease, which also includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, is a class of conditions Although there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, treatment can reduce your symptoms and allow you to lead an active, full life.

Symptom of Crohn’s Disease

Patients with Crohn’s disease may experience acute symptoms followed by extended periods without symptoms that may last weeks or years. Where and how severe the disease manifests itself affects the symptoms. Maybe you’ll observe.

Crohn's disease
Crohn’s disease
  • Prolonged diarrhoea that is frequently bloody and filled with pus or mucus
  • losing weight
  • Fever
  • Belly discomfort and tenderness
  • Blood in the urine
  • Complications of IBD

Both of the following complications can be brought on by Crohn’s disease:

  • restricted to your intestines
  • systemic, which impacts the entire body. Extraintestinal complications are another name for them.

Local Crohn’s complications include:

  • Abscess. Bacterial infections cause this pus-filled pocket to appear. It can develop and protrude from the intestinal wall. A boil-like one may also appear close to your anus. You will experience fever, pain, tenderness, and swelling.
  • From bile salt: diarrhoea. The ileum, or lower end of your intestine, is most frequently impacted by Crohn’s disease. This area typically absorbs bile acids, which your body produces to aid in the absorption of fat. This kind of diarrhoea can happen when your body can’t handle the fat.
  • Fissure. The anus lining has a painful tear, as seen here. During bowel movements, it may result in bleeding.
  • Fistula. Ulcers or sores can develop into fistulas, which are passages connecting two sections of your intestine. They are also capable of tunnelling into nearby tissues like the skin, vagina, and bladder.
  • Undernutrition and Malabsorption. The area of your body that absorbs nutrients from food, the small intestine, is affected by Crohn’s disease. Your body might no longer be able to utilise what you eat once you’ve had it for a while.
  • SIBO: bacterial overgrowth in the small intestine (SIBO). You can digest food thanks to the bacteria that live in your gut. Gas, bloating, stomach pain, and diarrhoea can result from this occurring higher up in your digestive tract than usual.
  • Strictures Your intestines have narrowed and thickened areas as a result of Crohn’s disease-related inflammation. According to how much of your intestine is blocked, they can range from mild to severe. Cramps, stomach pain, and bloating are symptoms.

Systemic issues consist of:

  • Arthritis: The most common systemic complication is joint inflammation, which causes discomfort, edoema, and stiffness. With Crohn’s disease, three types of arthritis can occasionally occur:
  • peripheral The elbows, knees, wrists, and ankles are among the large joints in your arms and legs that are affected by this type.
  • Axial. Your lower back or spine is impacted by this type (the doctor may call it your sacroiliac joint).
  • Angular spondylitis Although it is uncommon, people with Crohn’s disease can develop this more severe form of spinal arthritis. It may also result in inflammation of the heart valves, lungs, and eyes.
  • Skin issues The second-most common systemic complication is this one.

Those most frequently connected to Crohn’s illness include:

  • Nodule-like erythema: These tiny, tender, red nodules typically appear on your shins, ankles, and occasionally your arms.
  • gangrenous pyoderma These infected wounds frequently develop after skin trauma or injury. They sometimes show up on your legs but can appear anywhere.
  • Hair Loss: Body hairs In particular around the umbilicus, these tiny skin flaps are typical in Crohn’s patients.
  • Mouth Ulcers: Canker sores are another name for them. They can develop along your tongue’s sides and bottom or between your gum and lower lip.

Bone Loss .Steroid medications, for example, can cause osteoporosis, a condition that results in bone loss. One can:

  • This prevents your body from absorbing calcium, which is necessary for bone development.
  • Encourage your body to excrete calcium through urination.
  • Increase the number of cells that break down bone.
  • Reduce the number of bone-forming cells in your body.
  • Reduce your body’s production of oestrogen. Estrogen also promotes bone growth.

The inflammation-causing proteins can also alter how quickly your body makes and breaks down bone.

Vitamin D Deficiency: If you have Crohn’s disease, damage to your small intestine, or have had a portion of your small intestine removed, your body won’t be able to absorb vitamin D, which makes it more difficult for you to absorb calcium and build bone.

vision issues Crohn’s-related inflammation has a number of effects on the eyes. Common ailments include

  • Episcleritis The most common Crohn’s complication is inflammation of the region directly beneath the conjunctiva, which is the transparent tissue that covers the white of your eye and the inside of your eyelids. One or both eyes may be affected. Although it usually causes severe redness, burning, itching, and pain, your vision won’t be affected.
  • Scleritis When you move your eyes, this condition’s constant pain intensifies.
  • Uveitis. This is an uncomfortable inflammation of your eye’s middle layer, the uvea. It may result in redness, light sensitivity, and blurred vision.
  • Kidney problems Due to their function in the waste processing process and proximity to your intestines, these organs are susceptible to Crohn’s disease. Potential problems could be:
  • A kidney stone. They are a typical issue with Crohn’s disease. One type happens when the salt oxalate is absorbed into your kidneys and forms stones. If your body is unable to fully absorb the uric acid it produces, a different type known as uric acid stones will develop.
Crohn's disease
Crohn’s disease
  • Hydronephrosis The ureter, the tube that carries urine from your kidney to your bladder, becomes compressed when the ileum, where the small and large intestines meet, swells as a result of Crohn’s disease. Your kidney can swell, and scar tissue may develop when urine cannot drain as it should.
  • Fistulas. Fistulas can happen both inside the intestines and between the intestines and other organs, like the bladder or ureter.
  • Gastrointestinal issues Everything you consume is broken down by your liver. The disease itself or the treatment for Crohn’s can cause it to become inflamed. Unless you develop a more serious issue, you’ll likely only feel low energy and fatigue. Among the most frequent problems are:
  • Fatty liver illness Fats can accumulate in your liver if your body isn’t able to process them properly. Steroids can be helpful.
  • Gallstones When Crohn’s disease affects the ileum, it is unable to process bile salts, which help dissolve cholesterol. The bile duct’s entrance to your liver may become blocked by cholesterol stones.
  • Hepatitis  Crohn’s disease itself may cause long-term liver inflammation.
  • Pancreatitis Gallstones and medications both have the potential to cause pancreatic inflammation. It may result in pain, sickness, vomiting, and fever.

Issues with physical maturation. Crohn’s can develop at any age. Parents may observe

  • Failure to grow Children with Crohn’s disease are likely to be smaller and lighter than their non-affected peers. Before experiencing symptoms, they might stop growing.
  • Prolonged puberty Puberty may begin later in children with Crohn’s disease.

Most studies connect Crohn’s disease to a tiny but real rise in the risk of dying. In most cases, factors other than the actual Crohn’s disease itself contribute to the cause. They include infections, bowel tears or perforations, and fatal responses to steroids and other medications.

Causes Crohn’s Disease

It is unclear to doctors what causes Crohn’s disease. It is regarded by some as an autoimmune condition. According to research, your immune system may attack a harmless virus, bacteria, or food in your gut rather than in your body, leading to long-term inflammation.

Factors at Risk for Crohn’s Disease

Several factors can increase your risk of developing Crohn’s disease, including:

  • Genes. It’s common to inherit Crohn’s disease. A close relative who has Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may affect 20% of those who have it. Additionally, Ashkenazi Jews are more likely to contract the illness.
  • Age. Crohn’s disease is primarily a disease of the young, though it can affect people of all ages. Most people receive their diagnosis before the age of 30, but it can also strike people in their 50s, 60s, 70s, or even later in life.
  • Smoking. This is the only risk factor that can be easily managed. Smoking can aggravate Crohn’s and increase your risk of needing surgery.
  • Medications Ibuprofen, naproxen, and other NSAIDs don’t cause Crohn’s disease directly, but they can cause inflammation in the bowel, which makes the disease worse.
  • In the Environment You’re in. Urban dwellers and citizens of industrialised nations have a higher risk of developing Crohn’s disease.
  • Diet. Crohn’s disease risk may increase if you consume a lot of processed or high-fat foods.
  • Infection. The bacteria Mycobacterium avium paratuberculosis, which also causes a similar condition in cattle, and an E. coli strain have been linked to Crohn’s disease.

Various Forms of Crohn’s Disease

There are five different types of Crohn’s disease, depending on which parts of the digestive system are affected.

  • Ileocolitis: The final portion of your small intestine and your colon are affected by the most prevalent type of Crohn’s disease, ileocolitis (called the terminal ileum).
  • Granulomatous colitis. Only your colon is impacted by Crohn’s colitis or granulomatous colitis.
  • Gastroduodenal The first segment of your small intestine and your stomach both have Crohn’s disease (called the duodenum).
  • Ileitis: The ileum is impacted by ileitis.
  • Jejunoileitis In the upper portion of your small intestine, Jejunoileitis results in a few small areas of inflammation (called the jejunum)

Diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease

Doctors use different tests to tell the difference between Crohn’s disease and other conditions like ulcerative colitis.

Your doctor will first go over your medical background before discussing your symptoms. They might want to request a few lab examinations, such as:

  • A blood test, such as a blood count
  • To rule out infections as the cause of diarrhoea, collect samples of your faeces.
  • image-based tests
  • MRI. This gives your doctor a clear picture of what’s going on inside your body without using radiation.
  • an MRI. This examination produces finely detailed images of your internal organs using X-rays.
  • Endoscopy If you need one of these, your doctor might refer you to a gastroenterologist:

Endoscopy :with balloon assistance An endoscope, a flexible tube, is pulled through your small intestine during this test using balloons that inflate and deflate. Your insides can be seen thanks to a tiny camera on one end.

  • The capsule endoscopy To offer the doctor a better view of your small intestine, you will swallow a tiny, pill-sized camera.
  • The upper endoscope During this procedure, the doctor can see your duodenum, stomach, and esophagus.
  • Either a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy These give the doctor a clear picture of your intestines and let them take a sample of tissue to study.

Trigger for Crohn’s Disease

With Crohn’s disease, you experience flare-ups of symptoms that can last days, weeks, or even months, followed by remissions during which you are symptom-free. Days, weeks, or even years may go by between remissions.

The following factors can exacerbate Crohn’s disease:

  • Infections (including the common cold)
  • The use of cigarettes
  • A few anti-inflammatory medicines (such as aspirin and ibuprofen)

Treatment for Crohn’s Disease

Although there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, treatments can generally enable people to lead normal lives.


Most drugs are used to treat Crohn’s disease, including

  • Corticosteroids: A stronger class of anti-inflammatory medicine is corticosteroids. Prednisone, methylprednisolone, and budesonide (Entocort) are other examples (Solu-Medrol). These can have serious adverse effects if you take them for a long period, such as bone thinning, muscle loss, skin issues, and an increased risk of infection. Side effects are less common with Entocort.
  • Medicines that Reduce Inflammation. Examples include olsalazine (Dipentum), sulfasalazine, and mesalamine (Asacol, Lialda, and Pentasa) (Azulfidine). A rash, headache, nausea, diarrhoea, and an upset stomach are a few of the side effects. Only a few situations call for the use of these drugs.
  • Modifiers of the Immune System: such as methotrexate and azathioprine (Imuran, Azasan) (Rheumatrex, Trexall) These medications may not start to work for up to six months. Additionally, they are more likely to develop potentially fatal infections.
  • An example of an antibiotic is Flagyl. Metronidazole may give you a metallic aftertaste, motion sickness, and tingling or numbness in your hands and feet. Ciprofloxacin can make you feel sick and rupture your Achilles tendon.
  • Diarrhoea medications

Biological Medicine Adalimumab (Humira), adalimumab-atto (Amjevita), adalimumab-abdn (Cyltezo), certolizumab pegol (Cimzia), infliximab (Remicade), adalimumab-abdn (Cyltezo), axxq (Avsola), qbtx (IXI (Entyvio))

Your doctor will follow up with you a few weeks after you begin therapy to see how well it is working. You’ll keep going till your condition improves. In order to keep your symptoms under control in that situation, your doctor might recommend “maintenance therapy.” You’ll require more aggressive treatment if you don’t improve. Also, your doctor can advise you to take vitamin supplements.


Surgery is required for between 66% and 75% of Crohn’s disease patients. It can be helpful when there are issues or when medications don’t work. Common techniques include:

  • Resection. The diseased portion of the bowel is removed by the surgeon, and the two healthy ends are connected. Although a lot of people remain symptom-free for years after, it is not a cure. Crohn’s disease frequently recurs at the anastomosis, or connecting, site.
  • Ileostomy If the doctor cannot perform an anastomosis on your rectum due to disease, you may require this. Your gut and torso skin are connected with this technique. As a result, a hole forms in the skin where waste can be collected and then taken out.

Therapies that are complementary and alternative.

Alternative therapies are those that replace medical treatments with non-medical ones. Complementary therapies are those applied in addition to medical care.

Crohn’s disease is primarily managed with medication, but many people also benefit from complementary therapy to lessen their symptoms. They comprise:

  • Exercise, hypnosis, acupuncture, yoga, and other mind-body practices, as well as relaxation techniques
  • Omega-3 fatty acids and curcumin are examples of dietary supplements.
  • Probiotics
  • medical cannabis

Many of these treatments are still under investigation. Before using any of these, consult your physician.

Crohn's disease
Crohn’s disease

A change in lifestyle and natural therapies

Your Crohn’s symptoms might be lessened by making some lifestyle adjustments.

  • Skip the NSAIDs. Change to acetaminophen.
  • Stop smoking. This may reduce the frequency of flare-ups, the amount of medication you require, and the likelihood that you will need surgery.
  • It will relieve stress.

Stress is not the cause of Crohn’s disease, but it can worsen its symptoms. Try some of the above mind-body practices, like yoga or meditation.

A diet for people with IBS

Foods don’t appear to be the cause of Crohn’s disease, but when the condition is active, soft, bland foods may be less likely to result in symptoms than spicy or high-fiber foods. When recommending a diet for their Crohn’s disease patients, the majority of doctors try to be flexible.

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You might also give an elimination diet a shot to determine which foods make Crohn’s symptoms worse. You’ll start by eliminating certain foods from your diet one at a time to see what happens. Make sure you don’t miss out on any nutrients by working with a dietitian or your doctor.

See how you feel after making a reduction in:

  • Fried or greasy food.
  • Dairy items
  • Sparkling beverages
  • Caffeine
  • Nuts, seeds, and raw vegetables are examples of high-fiber foods.
  • Like beans and cruciferous vegetables, they can give you gas.

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