Crohn's disease, which is also known as Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), is a condition which causes chronic swelling and irritation in the intestines. When the condition affects only the large intestine, it is called ulcerative colitis. When it strikes different parts of the digestive tract at different times, it is known as Crohn's disease.
Symptoms of IBD may be mild or severe and may include:
- frequent diarrhea that may contain blood or pus
- abdominal pain
- weight loss
Based on your symptoms, your doctor may be able to diagnose Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis without testing. Or, laboratory tests may be ordered to check your stool for certain bacteria or blood. A sigmoidoscopy, a colonoscopy or X-rays may also help your doctor diagnose of your symptoms.
Treatment for Crohn's disease or colitis often begins with dietary changes. If dietary changes alone cannot manage symptoms, medication is often prescribed. Sometimes severe Crohn's attacks require hospitalization or surgery.