What is Crohn's Disease?

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  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 06 April 2020
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Some people may confuse Crohn's disease with another condition called irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), but they are not as related as one might think. This condition is considered an inflammatory bowel disease, indicating that an infection is present anywhere from the top of the esophagus to the rectum. IBS and other gastrointestinal conditions are generally limited to the intestines and colon, however, without the redness and swelling found with Crohn's disease.

The actual cause of Crohn's disease still remains a mystery, but many researchers suspect it is a reaction to a virus or chronic condition such as rheumatoid arthritis. This is why it is considered an autoimmune disease — the body itself generates the conditions necessary for a flare-up. Sufferers often experience painful abdominal cramping, frequent bowel movements, diarrhea and general fatigue. Although stress is not considered a trigger, the cumulative effects of the symptoms can cause social anxiety and stress.

Crohn's disease can suddenly appear at any age, but the majority of cases seem to begin between the ages of 15 and 30. Caucasian women are especially susceptible, although the reason is not clear. The disease can also flare up later in life, often in conjunction with other age-related conditions.


Treatment plans often include a change in diet and an increase in exercise. Crohn's disease has been known to go into remission, or at least become cyclical. During an active flare-up, sections of the intestinal walls become so inflamed that normal defecation and elimination can be painful. Over-the-counter medications for diarrhea or constipation may prove helpful.

Currently there is no cure for Crohn's disease, although there are a number of researchers working to find one. For sufferers, there are support groups available in many parts of the world, and online discussion groups may also provide up-to-date information on the latest treatments and research efforts.

Crohn's disease is considered to be chronic, meaning it will exist for a patient's lifetime, but not terminal. The symptoms may complicate other medical conditions, however. It is important to stay hydrated in order to prevent an overall loss of body fluids. Some people with this disease also suffer from fibromyalgia or other fatiguing conditions, so a combination of proper rest and exercise should be practiced as well.


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Post 8

From Chidindu in Nigeria: I have had cauda equina problems, spinal cord surgery for disc decompression (1994), diagnosed with weak anal tone for 10 years or more, hypertrophic joint (acetabular dysplasia), corrosive flatulence (burns the underwear through) for some years, chronic pain and wasting of gluteal muscle, tenesmus, and constant anal irritation.

I used plant food enzymes for 30 days. Suddenly for me at 60, even the tiniest food 'hurts' for the past three months, copious odorless flatulence relieved only fairly by antibiotics, dull constant abdominal distension and pain. I just got podagra (monosodium urate crystals deposit) on my left big toe joint.

Could I have chronic mesenteric ischaemia or Crohn's? What medications or lifestyle changes might help me/others with my condition.

Post 7

I am taking prednisone and my face is began to puffy. I just wanted to know will my face go back to being normal.

I told my doctor about the concern with the moon face and he still suggests I stay on the medication. I have been taking them for six months now and when I stop taking the pills my right leg swells.

Is there anyone else suffering like this? I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease a year ago.

Post 6

Regarding anyone interested in healing their IBD:

I had a severe, extensive case of Ulcerative Colitis and used to be on 90mg of prednisone a day, plus NSAIDs and immunosuppressives. Now I no longer take any medication whatsoever against the advice of doctors. No matter what your Gastroenterologist tells you - it is a problem with your body rejecting the food it has been given. Your immune system isn't attacking itself, it's attacking the poison that you are putting into your body. Humans are physiologically designed to eat fruit and vegetables.

Not that you're willing to do what I'm going to suggest, but I'll give you the answer despite that fact. Simply go on a Raw Food Diet of

strictly fruits and vegetables and you won't ever have symptoms again. A book entitled 80/10/10 by Dr. Doug Graham should be the end goal to strive for, but any version of any raw food diet would be an effective deterrent against Crohn's Disease.

(And just like that the cure becomes available to everyone who reads this)

Post 5

Again, I can share lots of information. But I am not going to go into it blindly. Can you please ask a question that I can respond to?



Other therapy?




Support Groups?


Diagnosis? (There is no definitive test.)


Post 4

Last year i had severe pains in my stomach, chronic diarrhea, nausea and chills. Doc said that my intestine was inflamed that it was a virus. A year later i have chronic diarrhea pain in my stomach and blood in my stool. I get fatigued easily. Some say its a spastic colon. seems to me though that all the symptoms point to crohn's. When i take anti inflammatories im fine but when i stop taking them it starts all over again. Can Someone shed some light here.

Post 3

I have had Crohn's since at least 1978. I am reasonably familiar with the disease, treatments, etc. What would you like to know?

Post 2

I have a condition which may be Crohn's and am hoping to find information from people who are sharing on this website.

Post 1

My son was diagnosed two years ago with Crohn's and I find that vitamin therapy as well as medication can help the symptoms.

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