Symptoms and Signs of Crohn's Disease FAQs

Medical Author: John P. Cunha, DO, FACOEP
Medically Reviewed on 12/2/2021

Doctor's Notes on Crohn's Disease FAQs

Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that involves chronic inflammation of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. It most commonly affects the end of the small intestine called the terminal ileum and the beginning of the large intestine called the cecum. It differs from ulcerative colitis, another type of IBD, which only affects the colon

Symptoms of Crohn's disease depend on which part of the digestive tract is affected. Common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include

Crohn’s disease is chronic, but the symptoms are not continuous. Most people experience "flares" which are times in which symptoms appear or get worse. Symptoms of Crohn’s improve or go away completely ("remission") until another flare occurs and most people generally feel well when the disease is in remission.

What Is the Treatment for Crohn's Disease?

The treatment for Crohn’s disease usually consists of medical therapies and dietary changes to decrease symptoms and induce remission. Surgical treatments are usually only used if medical treatments are inadequate or if there is an emergency reason for surgery (like a blockage or a perforation).  

Medical therapies used for Crohn’s disease include:

Other treatments for Crohn’s disease include:

Even with proper medication and diet, as many as two-thirds to three-quarters of people with Crohn's disease will require surgery at some point during their lives. 

The surgery for Crohn’s disease often involves removal of the diseased segment of bowel (resection). Sometimes the two ends of healthy bowel are then joined together (anastomosis) and sometimes the patient may need a temporary ostomy.

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