How Do You Get Crohn's Disease?

Reviewed on 10/1/2021

The exact cause of Crohn's disease is not known, but it is believed that genetic and environmental factors contribute to developing the condition. Triggers for Crohn's flares include not taking medication, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, stress, foods that irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and others.
The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is not known, but it is believed that genetic and environmental factors contribute to developing the condition. Triggers for Crohn's flares include not taking medication, nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), antibiotics, stress, foods that irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, and others.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract.

Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus. It is different from ulcerative colitis, another type of IBD, that only affects the colon (large intestine). 

Crohn's Disease Causes

It is not fully understood how or why some people get Crohn’s disease. It is believed that genetic and environmental factors contribute to the development of the condition.

When symptoms of Crohn’s disease worsen, it is called a flare. Triggers for flares include: 

  • Not taking Crohn’s disease medications as prescribed
  • Use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) 
  • Use of antibiotics
  • Physical and emotional stress 
  • Foods that irritate the gastrointestinal (GI) tract
    • There is no specific food that causes flares, but every person is different and some patients may find certain foods aggravate symptoms
  • Smoking, including exposure to secondhand smoke
  • Gastrointestinal tract infections (such as C. difficile)

What Are Symptoms of Crohn's Disease?

Symptoms of Crohn’s disease can develop slowly and gradually and progressively worsen. 

What Is the Treatment for Crohn’s Disease?

Treatment for Crohn’s disease involves a combination of medication, diet changes, and sometimes surgery.

Medications used to treat Crohn’s disease include:

  • Aminosalicylates (5-ASA)
  • Azathioprine
  • Corticosteroids
  • Antibiotics
  • Sulfasalazine
  • Biologics/biosimilar therapies
  • Immunomodulators

Diet changes used to treat Crohn’s disease include:

  • Eating a healthy, balanced diet that includes:
    • Refined grains
    • Low-fiber fruits
    • Vegetables that are fully cooked, skinless, seedless, and non-cruciferous
    • Lean proteins
    • Oral nutritional supplements 
    • Homemade protein shakes
    • Water, broth, tomato juice, and rehydration solutions to stay hydrated
  • Eating four to six small meals daily
  • Restricting dairy intake in patients who are lactose-intolerant
  • During flares:

Surgery used to treat Crohn’s disease includes:

  • Strictureplasty: to repair a narrowing (stricture) 
  • Bowel resection: to remove a damaged portion of the small or large intestine 
  • Fistula removal
  • Abscess drainage
  • Colectomy: removal of the colon
  • Proctocolectomy: removal of the colon and rectum

SLIDESHOW

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Causes, Symptoms, Treatment See Slideshow

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Reviewed on 10/1/2021
References
https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/

https://blog.mercy.com/crohns-disease-early-signs-prevention/