What Are the Warning Signs of Crohn’s Disease?

Reviewed on 6/4/2021

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Warning signs can include fevers, fatigue, diarrhea, frequent bowel movements, abdominal pain/cramping, nausea, vomiting, cramping, loss of appetite, weight loss, gastrointestinal ulcers, rectal bleeding/blood in stool, and others.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Warning signs can include fevers, fatigue, diarrhea, frequent bowel movements, abdominal pain/cramping, nausea, vomiting, cramping, loss of appetite, weight loss, gastrointestinal ulcers, rectal bleeding/blood in stool, and others.

Symptoms of Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract that is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), may come on slowly and gradually and progressively worsen.

Early warning signs of Crohn’s disease may include: 

What Causes Crohn’s Disease?

It’s not currently known what causes Crohn’s disease, but there are risk factors that may contribute to developing the disease.

Risk factors of Crohn’s disease include:

  • Genetic factors
    • Runs in families
    • Between 5% and 20% of people with IBD have a first-degree relative (parent, child, or sibling) who has IBD
    • If both parents have IBD, the risk is significantly increased
    • Most common among people of eastern European descent
  • Environmental factors
    • Crohn’s disease is more common in:
      • Urban cities and towns
      • Developed countries
      • Northern climates

How Is Crohn’s Disease Diagnosed?

A Crohn’s disease diagnosis is given during a doctor visit in which the physician will perform a physical examination and run tests such as: 

SLIDESHOW

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

What Is the Treatment for Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease treatment usually involves a combination of medication and diet changes. Sometimes surgery may be recommended.

Medications for Crohn’s disease include:

Diet changes for Crohn’s disease include:

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

Surgery for Crohn’s disease includes:

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

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Reviewed on 6/4/2021
References
https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/

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