Crohn's disease, also known as ulcerative colitis or inflammatory colitis, is an inflammatory disease of the bowel. It is first seen in a person when he is between 16 to 21 years old, though few children display symptoms of Crohn's disease much earlier.
Though the intensity of these may differ from one person to the next, the early stage symptoms of Crohn's disease are loss of appetite, cramping, abdominal pain, diarrhea, blood in the stools and unhealthy weight loss. Those affected may feel pain in the bowel area and experience the mucus or blood filled stools, both symptoms indicating that the small intestine is being affected by Crohn's disease.
Some areas of the small intestine may be infected while some will remain intact, and when the disease gets severe enough, the only option is surgery to get the affected tissue removed.
One peculiarity with Crohn's disease is that it can lay low for some time, leaving the patient feeling good and free of all symptoms for a certain period of time and then again back to being sick as the bowel tissue keeps deteriorating. Many people try to make these remission periods last longer with the help of medication, but it is just a temporary solution and does not treat the problem in any way.
Those suffering from Crohn's disease have to go through at least one surgery, and many need to have multiple ones throughout their lives. People with Crohn's disease are more susceptible to food and pollen allergies, as well as asthma, and may have had eye infections or arthritis before they were diagnosed with Crohn's disease.
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