Symptoms and Signs of Crohn's Disease Early Signs, Causes, Treatments, and Life-Expectancy

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Medically Reviewed on 3/21/2019

Doctor's Notes on Crohn's Disease Early Signs, Causes, Treatments, and Life-Expectancy

Crohn's disease (also termed Crohn disease) is chronic inflammation of ant part of the digestive tract, although usually involves the terminal small bowel, cecum and anus. The most common signs and symptoms include diarrhea, cramp or steady pain in the right lower abdomen (sometimes relieved for a short time by a bowel movement), pain or bleeding with a bowel movement and, in some individuals, bloating after eating, constipation, and/or infections of the urinary tract or vagina (caused by fistula formation). The following general symptoms may occur in some patients; fatigue, weight loss and low-grade fevers.

The exact cause of Crohn's disease is unknown. Theories suggest it occurs due to a combination of genetic (familial), environment, diet, blood vessel and/or psychosocial factors cause the disease. Other researchers theorize the immune system is the cause by overreacting to a virus or bacterium.

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Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.