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Crohn Disease (cont.)

What Are the Symptoms and Signs of Crohn's Disease?

Crohn's disease is intermittent. This means that the inflammation occurs (flares) without warning and then goes away (goes into remission) over time. It is impossible to predict when the condition will flare, how long the flare will last, and when it will flare again. Most people feel pretty well when their disease is not active.

The most common symptoms in Crohn's disease are those related to the inflammatory damage to the digestive tract.

  1. Diarrhea: Waxes and wanes; stool may contain mucus, blood, or pus
  2. Pain in the abdomen: Crampy or steady; in the right lower part of the abdomen or around the belly button; often relieved temporarily by having a bowel movement
  3. Bloating after eating: Less common, usually seen in cases of bowel obstruction
  4. Constipation Usually seen in cases of bowel obstruction
  5. Pain or bleeding with bowel movement
  6. Infection of the urinary tract or vagina: Suggests a fistula from the intestinal tract

General symptoms occur in some but not all cases.

Other symptoms of Crohn's disease may be attributable to related medical conditions affecting the skin, joints, mouth, eyes, liver, and bile ducts.

What Causes Crohn's Disease?

The exact cause of Crohn's disease remains unknown.

  • Current theories suggest that genetics, environment, diet, blood vessel abnormalities, and/or even psychosocial factors cause Crohn's disease.
  • Probably the most popular theory is that Crohn's disease is caused by the immune system overreacting to infection by a virus or bacterium.
  • Crohn's disease apparently is not caused by emotional distress.
  • Crohn's disease definitely runs in families. People who have Crohn's disease may have an inherited predisposition to abnormal immunologic response to one or more provoking factors.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 9/11/2017
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Read What Your Physician is Reading on Medscape

Crohn Disease »

Crohn disease is an idiopathic, chronic, transmural inflammatory process of the bowel that often leads to fibrosis and obstructive symptoms, which can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus.

Read More on Medscape Reference »


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