What is it?
Crohn’s disease is a long-term, constantly recurring disease of the intestinal tract (esophagus, stomach, small bowel, and colon and rectum. It primarily occurs in the last segment of the small bowel (ileum) and the main part of the large intestine (colon).
The disease starts out as microscopic areas of inflammation. The bowel lining then develops open sores and becomes thick. Eventually, the bowel may narrow. What causes these changes in the bowel is still unknown.
Who's at Risk?
Crohn’s disease can be seen in men and women of all ages; however, it most often begins in younger people and Jewish people.
Symptoms depend on where the disease appears within the intestinal tract. When it appears in the last segment of the small bowel (ileum), pain can come and go in the lower-right abdomen. Sometimes, the pain is similar to what someone might experience if they have appendicitis. If Crohn’s disease occurs in the colon, an individual can experience diarrhea, fever, fatigue, and weight loss.
Stool sample and blood tests are used to diagnose Crohn’s disease, along with X-rays of the colon and small intestine and a visual examination of the lining of the lower bowel and rectum. Colonoscopy, which is an in-depth examination of the entire colon, is usually the best way to diagnose Crohn’s when it’s in the colon.