Crohn's Disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease, the cause of which is not known.

It causes inflammation of both the lining as well as the wall of the large intestine. Crohn’s disease can also be present anywhere in the bowel ranging from the small intestine to the stomach and the anal region in addition to the colon. It usually affects young adults, though Crohn’s disease may also be present in middle age.

The symptoms include diarrhea, weight loss, anemia, abdominal pain, and the presence of fistulae. Patients may also have arthritis, inflammation of the eyes, involvement of the liver and certain skin conditions. Crohn’s disease is diagnosed by performing tests including barium enema, CT scan, and colonoscopy.

The management is usually medical, with a combination of oral medication, steroids, and injectable medication, namely Remicade® and Humira®. The surgical management of Crohn’s disease is reserved for those complicated situations in which there is associated infection and/or communication between various portions of the intestines. At times a blockage of the intestine due to Crohn's disease may need surgery.

Read more about Crohn's disease at the American Society of Colon & Rectal Surgeons website

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America website is another source of information.