Gastrointestinal Diseases

Crohn's Disease

Crohn's Disease:
It is a chronic, non-infectious inflammation, causes inflammation and irritation of Gastrointestinal Tract Lining (From the mouth to the anus), where it affects the intestinal wall and any part of it, Although the most common areas are the last part of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine, Crohn’s disease often begins gradually and can worsen over time ,however, the patient goes through periods of improvement lasting from weeks to years, People with this condition suffer problems outside the gastrointestinal tract (like: Skin rash, joint pain, eye redness, and liver problems also, but less common).

The exact cause of Crohn's disease is still unknown as there are several factors likely played a role in its development, like:

  • Immune system: it may be due to a defect in the immune system, as it recognizes the digestive tract Lining as foreign and attacks it, causing inflammation, which leads to Ulcers appearing in the digestive tract lining.
  • Heredity: whereas inherited genes may increase the risk of developing Crohn's disease.
  • Non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (eg: aspirin or ibuprofen), antibiotics, and contraceptive pills may slightly increase the chance of developing Crohn's disease.
  • A high-fat diet may slightly increase the chance of developing Crohn's disease.

Risk factors:

  • Age: Crohn’s disease can occur at any age, but most patients are diagnosed with Crohn's disease between the ages of 20 and 29 years old.
  • Having a family history of chronic enteritis.
  • Smoking.

It varies from person to another, signs and symptoms range from mild to severe, it usually develops gradually, but sometimes it comes suddenly, without warning, which includes:

  • Abdominal pain.
  • Severe diarrhea (sometimes with blood and mucus).
  • Fatigue.
  • High fever.
  • Anemia.
  • Loss of appetite and weight.
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Feeling stressed and tired.

Some people may also suffer from:

  • Inflammation in the joints.
  • Inflammation in the eye.

When to see a doctor:

  • Epigastric pain and blood in the stool.
  • Persistent bouts of diarrhea that do not respond to medication.
  • Unexplained weight loss.


  • Clinical examination.
  • Laboratory analysis: CBC analysis, stool analysis.
  • Other tests: X-ray with barium stain, CT, MRI scan.
  • Colonoscopy with sampling of the intestine lining.


  • Abscess (swelling Filled with pus from infection) around the anus and inside the digestive tract.
  • Anal fissures and anal fistulas.
  • Ulcers along the gastrointestinal tract, starting from the mouth or Intestines, anus, or perineum.
  • Inflammation in areas of the body like: Inflammation of the joints, eyes, and skin.
  • Intestinal obstruction: Crohn's disease can lead to a thickening of the intestinal wall.
  • Malnutrition, which develops when the body does not get the proper amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ functions.
  • Colon Cancer.

Treatment aims to reduce intestines inflammation and prevent exacerbation of symptoms and complications. The doctor treats Crohn’s disease with medications, lifestyle changes to relax the intestines, and surgery. Medications include:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs such as: cortisone.
  • Immune modifiers.

Surgery may be recommended. Although it will not cure the disease, it can treat complications and improve symptoms. It is often recommended for life-threatening bleeding, intestinal obstruction, and symptoms that do not respond to medication.

Recommended nutrition for Crohn's patients:
Changing your diet can help reduce your symptoms. Your doctor may recommend dietary changes, such as:

  • Avoid soft drinks.
  • Avoid eating popcorn, vegetable peelings, nuts, and other high-fiber foods.
  • Drink more fluids.
  • Eat smaller meals.
  • Keep a food diary to identify foods that cause problems and trigger symptoms.

Your doctor may also recommend a specific diet, such as:

  • High in calories.
  • Lactose free.
  • low fat.
  • Low fiber.
  • Low salt.

Tips for people with Crohn's disease:

  • Ensure regular follow-up with the doctor.
  • Take medication prescribed by the doctor.
  • Avoid stopping treatment when symptoms disappear.
  • Follow a healthy diet to prevent symptoms exacerbation.
  • Drink plenty of fluids to prevent dehydration.
  • Ensure regular physical activity.
  • Quitting smoking, as it increases the seizures incidence.
  • Reduce anxiety and stress as much as possible.
  • Avoid taking any herbal preparations without doctor's recommendations; to prevent it from interfering with the absorption of prescribed medications.

There is no way yet to prevent Crohn's disease, as research and studies are still ongoing.

Last Update : 23 August 2023 02:44 PM
Reading times :