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Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease of the digestive tract. Your body’s immune system should protect your body from sicknesses. But in Crohn’s disease, your immune system attacks the digestive tract by mistake.
Crohn’s disease causes patches of inflammation (swelling) that can affect any part of the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus. It most often affects the lower part of the small intestine. The swelling spreads deep into the lining of the tissue.
Crohn’s disease can get worse over time. Some people may develop complications like these:
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease may include:
Symptoms of serious Crohn’s disease may also include fever, tiredness, eye redness, constipation, joint pain, or rectal pain. Symptoms can also come and go. You may have long periods with no symptoms at all.
See your doctor if you have:
Doctors don’t know exactly what causes Crohn’s disease. But they do know that certain things give people a greater chance of getting it. These include:
Your doctor may use a few tests to find out if you have Crohn’s disease. These may include:
Doctors can treat the symptoms of Crohn’s disease, but there is no known cure for it. Treatments can reduce inflammation and relieve other symptoms such as diarrhea and bleeding. Treatment can sometimes stop your symptoms for long periods of time. Treatments may include:
We do not know what causes individuals to develop Crohn’s disease, so we are still determining the best course of prevention. However, eating a healthy diet and making smart choices about medications may reduce your risk of Crohn’s disease.