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Crohn's disease is a lifelong inflammatory bowel disease. Parts of the digestive tract get swollen and irritated and may develop sores called ulcers. It usually occurs in the last part of the small intestine and the first part of the large intestine. But it can occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus.
The main symptoms of Crohn's disease are belly pain, diarrhea, fatigue, and weight loss. Some people may have constipation. It sometimes causes problems with joints, eyes, or skin. Symptoms may be mild, moderate, or severe. The disease can also go into remission. This means it is not active and there are no symptoms.
Bad attacks are often treated in the hospital with medicines and liquids through a tube in your vein (I.V.). This gives the digestive system time to rest and recover.
Talk with your doctor about the best treatments for you. You may need medicines that help prevent or treat flare-ups. You may need surgery to remove part of your bowel if you have an abnormal opening in the bowel (fistula), an abscess, or a bowel obstruction.
Self-care can help reduce your symptoms.
Follow-up care is a key part of your treatment and safety. Be sure to make and go to all appointments, and call your doctor or nurse advice line (811 in most provinces and territories) if you are having problems. It's also a good idea to know your test results and keep a list of the medicines you take.
Call 911 anytime you think you may need emergency care. For example, call if:
Call your doctor or nurse advice line now or seek immediate medical care if:
Watch closely for changes in your health, and be sure to contact your doctor or nurse advice line if:
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Current as of: March 22, 2023
Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine
Care instructions adapted under license by your healthcare professional. If you have questions about a medical condition or this instruction, always ask your healthcare professional. Healthwise, Incorporated disclaims any warranty or liability for your use of this information.
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