Crohn’s Disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is from inflammation of the digestive or gastrointestinal (GI) tract, usually found at the end of the small intestine. Although it’s an IBD, it can also affect your eyes, skin and even joints.
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease is believed to be an overreaction of the immune system that affects 700,000 men and women in the U.S. It can occur anytime, but it most often starts between the ages of 15 and 35 years old, and symptoms can range from mild to severe. As a response to the immune system overreacting, the intestines become raw and inflamed (swollen) chronically. This ongoing inflammation leads to Crohn’s symptoms.
Crohn’s Disease Causes
Crohn’s Disease is not contagious or caused by something you ate, but rather several outside factors. A Crohn’s flare-up occurs when the lining of your intestine swells and thickens, obstructing the normal flow of food through your digestive tract. There are several factors that could trigger an immune response, such as:
- The immune system
- Environmental factors
Crohn’s Disease Symptoms
People who have Crohn’s Disease report varying symptoms, depending where in the in intestinal tract they are experiencing inflammation. Some common Crohn’s symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Frequent diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding
- Fatigue and feeling low energy (sometimes from Anemia)
- Unexplained weight loss
- Reduced appetite