Crohn's Disease Facts

Crohn's disease usually involves the small intestine, but in some cases, both the small and large intestines are affected. Learn More ›

Symptoms: Crohn's Disease

  • Abdominal pain and cramping (often involving the right lower quadrant)
  • Anemia
  • Bloody stool (the blood may be red, or tarry and black)
  • Eye discomfort and inflammation (uveitis)
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Pain with bowel movements
  • Perianal abscess
  • Poor appetite
  • Recurring bouts of watery diarrhea that may include blood or pus
  • Weight loss
  • Confusion or disorientation

  • High fever (higher than 101 degrees Fahrenheit)

  • Lethargy or unresponsiveness

  • Severe, constant abdominal pain or cramping that may occur with bloating, vomiting, constipation or diarrhea

  • Severe rectal bleeding or bloody stools

  • Unusual change in level of consciousness or alertness

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Treatment: Inflammation

Heart disease and cancer, the two most deadly killers of our time, are each affected by an immune response that may play a key role in a host of chronic diseases, researchers say.

That immune response is inflammation.

Inflammation is normal and necessary to fight off a sinus infection or help heal a cut. Yet at times it can soar out of control, causing severe illness and death. The process that makes inflammation run amuck is complex. It seems to vary with the trigger and the part of the body it invades.

"Our appreciation for what inflammation can do is growing," says Carl Nathan, Ph.D., a New York immunology expert. "In many ways, we have an epidemic of chronic inflammation."

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Living with: Crohn's Disease

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that is a chronic condition that may recur at various times over a lifetime. It usually involves the small intestine, most often the lower part called the ileum. However, in some cases, both the small and large intestine are affected. Sometimes, inflammation may also affect the entire digestive tract, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, duodenum, appendix, or anus.

Crohn's disease affects males and females equally. It appears to run in some families, with about 20 percent of people with Crohn's disease having a blood relative with some form of inflammatory bowel disease.

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