Symptoms and Signs of Crohn's Disease

Medical Author:
Medically Reviewed on 10/18/2021

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 any part of the digestive tract, although it usually involves the terminal small bowel, cecum, and anus. The most common signs and symptoms include

  • diarrhea,
  • crampy 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.

What Is the Treatment for Crohn's Disease?

There is no treatment cure for Crohn's disease. Treatments are individualized and designed to give symptom relief and in some, long-term remission. The following are treatments that may be used alone or in combination:

You and your doctors may decide what treatments are best for your condition.

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