It is a form of inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the large intestine, especially colon and leads to pain in the abdomen, cramping, fatigue, severe diarrhoea, malnutrition and weight loss. In different people, inflammation can involve different areas of the digestive tract.

Sign and Symptoms

Signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease can range from mild to severe. The symptoms are usually gradual in onset, but sometimes will come on suddenly. A patient may also have periods of time when he or she has no signs or symptoms (a phenomenon called remission). In an active state, signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease may include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Reduced appetite and weight loss
  • Blood in stool
  • Mouth sores


What exactly causes Crohn’s disease is still unknown. In the past, stress, diet and multiple other related factors were suspected to be a possible cause, however, these may aggravate the condition but don’t manifest this disease. Multiple factors, such as genetics and a malfunctioning immune system can play a role in its development.


Diagnosis of Crohn’s disease is based on negative findings means that a physician will likely make a confirmed diagnosis of Crohn’s disease only after excluding other possible causes for same signs and symptoms. There is no definitive test to diagnose Crohn’s disease, however, those carried out on a routine basis include;

  • Blood tests
  • Faecal occult blood test
  • Tests for anaemia or infection
  • Procedures
  • Colonoscopy
  • Endoscopy
  • Balloon-assisted enteroscopy
  • Computerised tomography (CT) scan
  • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI)


Like most other gut disorders, there is currently no definitive cure for Crohn’s disease. The goal of treatment is to subside the inflammation that triggers the symptoms. It may also improve prognosis by limiting possible complications. The medications are as follows;

  1. Anti-inflammatory drugs
    • Oral 5-aminosalicylates
    • Sulfasalazine (Azulfidine)
    • Mesalamine (Asacol HD, Delzicol, others)
    • Prednisone
    • Budesonide (Entocort EC)
  2. Immune system suppressors
    • Mercaptopurine (Purinethol, Purixan)
    • Azathioprine (Azasan, Imuran)
    • Methotrexate (Trexall)
    • Infliximab (Remicade)
  3. Antibiotics
    • Ciprofloxacin (Cipro)
    • Metronidazole (Flagyl)

If lifestyle changes, diet, drug therapy don’t relieve the symptoms, surgery is the option. A surgeon removes a damaged portion of the digestive tract (small intestine) and then reconnects the healthy sections (proximal and distal parts). Surgery may also be used to drain abscesses and close fistulas.

Disclaimer: This article is for information only and should not be used as a substitute for professional medical care by a qualified doctor or other healthcare professional. ALWAYS check with your doctor if you have any concerns about your condition or treatment.