Crohn's disease is a chronic disorder of the intestines where the gastrointestinal tract gets inflammed and weak. While crohn's disease generally strikes at the end of the small intestine (ileum) or the large intestine (colon), it can occur anywhere in the intestinal tract from mouth to anus. Ulcers form on the inner intestinal lining and eventually spread through the intestinal wall.
Who can get affected by Crohn's Disease?
Crohn's disease is generally diagnosed in people in their 20s and 30s. However it can occur in infants and children as well. Women are more likely to get it. It is rare in people of Asian or African descent.
What are the symptoms of Crohn's Disease?
Severe abdominal pain
Cramps or pain after eating especially in the lower right side of the abdomen.
Chronic low grade fever
Loss of appetite
Persistent nausea and vomiting
Arthritis with the above symptoms
In young children crohn's disease can show any of the above symptoms in addition to failure to grow at a normal rate
Crohn's disease is also associated with certain disorders affecting other parts of the body such as kidney stones, gallstones, joint pain, skin eruptions, inadequate absorption of nutrients, inflamed skin nodules and inflammation of the whites of the eyes.
People who have had crohn's disease for 20 or more years are at risk of developing colorectal cancer.
What causes Crohn's disease?
It is not known what exactly causes Crohn's disease, however it may be an autoimmune disorder. It has been speculated as to whether a virus or food additives can cause it but not much evidence supports this.
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