What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is one of the major forms of inflammatory bowel disease (the other being ulcerative colitis). In Crohn’s disease, there is uncontrolled inflammation of the digestive tract that may involve any part of the GI tract from the mouth to the colon and anorectum. Typically, the end of the small intestine, known as the ileum, is involved. Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease in which the body overreacts to substances or tissues within the gastrointestinal tract.

Causes of Crohn’s Disease

The cause of Crohn’s disease is not known, but is likely due to an abnormal, overactive immune response to an environmental trigger within the gastrointestinal tract. There is no evidence that Crohn’s disease is caused by diet, stress or infection, and no indication that the condition is contagious.

Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

The resulting inflammation from Crohn’s disease causes the intestinal wall to thicken which is responsible for symptoms such as diarrhea, abdominal pain, GI bleeding, weight loss, and fever. Some patients also experience problems outside the GI tract including skin rash, joint pain, eye redness and liver problems.

Crohn’s Disease Treatment

While there is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, therapies can greatly reduce the signs and symptoms and even bring about long-term remission. Treatment may include dietary and lifestyle modification, medications, and surgery. With treatment, many people with Crohn’s disease are able to function well.

Learn More About Crohn’s Disease »

The board-certified physicians at San Francisco Gastroenterology are specialists in the diagnosis and treatment of disorders affecting the digestive tract, including Crohn’s disease. Our doctors serve from Marin County, Oakland, Berkeley, Palo Alto and the entire San Francisco Bay Area. Our goal is simply to provide the highest quality medical care and patient service possible.

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