What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s Disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disorder that can be painful and debilitating. It occurs when the lining of the intestines becomes irritated, which causes severe diarrhea and abdominal pain. There are therapies that can reduce symptoms which will allow your child to maintain a normal lifestyle.
What are the causes?
- The cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown. Some factors that may contribute to the disease are: Immune system – a virus or bacteria may cause the disease. When your body tries to fight the virus or bacteria it can irritate the intestinal walls.
- Heredity – 20% of people with the disease have an immediate relative who has also the disease
- Environmental factors can trigger an immune response or directly damage the lining of the intestines
Treatments for Crohn’s Disease:
- Anti-inflammatory medications – to reduce inflammation
- Immune suppressors – medications to reduce inflammation by targeting the immune system
- Antibiotics – heal fistulas and abscesses, reduce harmful intestinal bacteria and suppress the intestine’s immune system to reduce inflammation
- Over-the-counter medicines to manage symptoms
What can I do?
- Learn which foods and/or drinks aggravate your child’s symptoms and help him or her avoid them
- Help your child manage any stress he or she may be experiencing
- Call your child’s doctor if there are continuing changes in his or her bowel movements
It is important to remember the health information found on this Web site is for reference only not intended to replace the advice and guidance of your health care provider. Always seek the advice of your physician with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. If you think you may have a true medical emergency, call 911 immediately.
- Chronic diarrhea
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Blood in the stool
- Reduced appetite and weight loss
- Fistula (abnormal connection between the intestines and other organs) or abscess (swollen, pus-filled sore)
- Fever and/or fatigue
- Delayed growth or sexual development