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Healthy Diet Plans >>  Health Issues and Diet >>  Crohn's Disease

Signs Of Crohn's Disease

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis form part of a larger group of inflammatory conditions called Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD). In Crohn’s disease, the inner lining of the gastrointestinal tract (GI) suffers from inflammation resulting in persistent diarrhea, stomach cramps, and malnutrition due to loss of appetite and lack of absorption of nutrients through food. While signs may occur in any part of the GI, it is most likely to affect the small intestine or colon region. One of the common symptoms is mild to severe diarrhea. Inflamed intestinal walls secrete excess fluids, which cause diarrhea.

Abdominal or intestinal cramping may also cause diarrhea in patients with Crohn’s disease. Nausea, vomiting, and abdominal cramping occur due to swelling in portions of the intestine. Lack of regular bowel movement due to swelling and inflammation may lead to discomfort.

Crohn’s disease signs in men and women may include blood in the stool or bright red blood spots in the toilet. Inflamed tissue may bleed as food passing through the digestive tract causes friction against the inner wall, rupturing tissue.

Symptoms In Women, Adults and Children

Common signs of Crohn’s disease in women and men may include small sores or ulcers in the outer wall of the large intestines. Signs in women may worsen during their menstrual cycle as hormones produced during this interfere with the digestive process increasing inflammation.


  • Both adults and children suffering from the disease are also prone to ulcers in the mouth.
  • Loss of appetite is another sign, followed by sudden or rapid weight loss.
  • While digestion or absorption of nutrients is difficult with an inflamed digestive tract, poor digestion may also lead to no hunger or taste.


Crohn’s disease signs in children may follow a similar pattern to those of adults. Additionally, Crohn’s disease symptoms in children may include slow physical growth due to malnutrition and slow sexual development since certain hormone functions maybe affected due to poor diet and digestion. Although IBD condition is common amongst adults, in many instances Crohn’s disease signs in infants may result from hereditary or genetic reasons.

Crohn’s disease symptoms in babies are hard to identify since bellyaches are common amongst little children. However, any complaints of diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fatigue, loss of appetite, stunted growth, recurrent ulcers, and abdominal cramps should be diagnosed immediately.

Symptoms may show up actively or be in remission, that is, dormant for brief periods.

Causes of Crohn's Disease

For a long time, medical experts believed that Crohn’s disease causes shared similarities with other Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) conditions. Diet and stress were seen as the main causes of Crohn’s disease in adults and children. Over the years, studies have revealed that while stress and diet may intensify any symptoms of Crohn’s disease, these are not the main causes of the condition itself. A history of IBD and Crohn’s disease may increase the risk of an individual contracting this condition either early on in childhood or later. Causes of Crohn’s disease in children may also arise from hereditary IBD conditions, and if any previous family members suffer from Crohn’s disease.

Causes In Men:

Causes of Crohn’s disease in men and women may also include an autoimmune disorder that encourages the immune system to fight the bacteria that exist in your digestive tract normally. In this process, the inner lining of the intestines may suffer damage and inflammation due to this attack by the white blood cells. Certain medications such as anti-inflammatory steroids or pills may cause adverse reactions in patients already suffering from Crohn’s disease. Talk to your doctor about medication if you suffer from Crohn’s disease or at the risk of suffering from this condition due to medical or family history.

Causes In Women:

While causes of Crohn’s disease in women are similar to those in men, their symptoms may seem more aggravated during their menstrual cycle. Hormonal changes during this period may result in worsening symptoms. Women with Crohn’s disease undergoing pregnancy must consult their doctors about prescription medication to avoid any side effects on the fetus.

Treatment For Crohn's Disease

Although Crohn’s disease cure is still under research, most Crohn’s disease treatment options focus on reducing inflammation and providing long-term relief from various symptoms of Crohn’s disease. With proper treatment and medication, individuals maybe able to enjoy longer remission periods from their symptoms. Crohn’s disease treatment may include medication to reduce inflammation, a Crohn’s disease diet to ease the stress on your digestive track, and in certain severe cases, surgery, to repair damaged tissue. Your doctor may suggest steroids or anti-inflammatory drugs to stem swelling and inflammation in the digestive tract. Your doctor may also suggest certain drugs to suppress your immune system to avoid an attack. However, these drugs cause side effects and must be taken under medical supervision.

Another Crohn’s disease treatment may involve taking antibiotics to lower the risk of bacterial infection from small sores and strictures. Your doctor may recommend avoiding alcohol and smoking, which causes further strain on your digestive tract and may even encourage or worsen inflammation. In case of severe abdominal cramping, obstruction, bleeding or abscess in the intestine, your doctor may recommend surgery to treat the symptoms or even remove part of the diseased intestine or colon.
Crohn’s disease natural treatment may help you overcome some of the symptoms through a change in lifestyle habits and diet.


While studies continue to find a link between Crohn’s disease and diet, for some individuals eating certain kinds of foods may trigger flare-ups. These vary from person to person, so maintaining a food diary and jotting down foods that cause symptoms to worsen may help you identify foods that you need to limit or avoid.

Home Remedies:

Lifestyle changes that can benefit Crohn’s disease patients include addressing problems such as stress and lack of exercise. Studies suggest that Crohn’s disease is likely to occur in urban settings with busy lifestyles, poor diet, and improper exercise routines. Stress may not cause Crohn’s disease but it can certainly alter your digestive process and worsen symptoms. Learning a few ways to manage your stress may help you avoid attacks. Mild to moderate exercise can help digestion, relax your mind and body and strengthen your core. Aerobic exercises help to regularize bowel movement. Exercise routines such as Yoga, Tai Chi, and so on with their focus on relaxation and breathing may also help relieve stress.

Diagnosis Of Crohn's Disease

It is important to perform a complete Crohn’s disease diagnosis to rule out possibilities of other IBD conditions such as diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, and even colon cancer, which may show similar symptoms. Crohn’s disease diagnostic tests may include:
  • Blood tests
  • Blood and stool tests
  • Colonoscopy
  • CT scan
  • Endoscopy

In Crohn’s disease, a blood test usually reveals signs of anemia, bacterial infection, and the presence of antibodies that identify different IBD conditions. A fecal occult blood test (FOBT) requires a sample of your stool to identify if there is bleeding within the intestine or the colon. If the results show blood in your stools, your doctor may recommend further investigation. A complete array of Crohn’s disease lab test will reveal the presence of the disease, its severity and portions of your digestive tract it has attacked or damaged.

Submitted on October 10, 2011