Common, early Crohns disease symptoms (Crohn’s disease) are abdominal cramps and pains, weight loss, loss of appetite, fever, and chronic diarrhea.
Crohn’s disease (regional enteritis, granulomatous ileitis, ileocolitis) is the chronic inflammation of the intestinal wall (small intestine or colon) but may occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus.
It most commonly occurs in the ileum, the last section of the small intestine just before the start of the colon.
Evidence supports an immune system malfunction for a continual attack on cells of the intestinal wall. The full intestinal wall is typically affected.
Spikes or “flare-ups” occur where symptoms are greatly amplified. The trigger for these flare-ups is not known but evidence shows cigarette smoking may increase their likelihood of occurring.
Crohn’s disease symptoms:
- diarrhea (sometimes bloody)
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
- abdominal pain
- abdominal cramps
- rectal bleeding
- inflammation of other regions of body
Diagnosis is typically through physical examination and observation of symptoms. A tissue biopsy and imaging techniques (colonoscopy, barium x-ray, CT scan) may also be used to confirm diagnosis.
Treatment is typically aimed at relieving symptoms. There is no cure. Antidiarrheal drugs, anti-inflammatory drugs, immune modulation, diet regimens and surgery are typical treatment methods.
Surgical intervention is common in individuals with Crohn’s disease. Typically regions which become obstructed or refuse to heal are removed and symptoms may be relieved. Often the disease recurs in the adjoining regions to the one removed during surgery.