Crohn's disease: how to recognize symptoms?

Inflammatory condition of the digestive system, Crohn's disease affects more than 150,000 people in France. Abdominal pains, cutaneous and ocular crises, zoom on the symptoms of this autoimmune pathology.

Crohn's disease, what is it?

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory disease, localized on the digestive system. This pathology has the particularity to manifest itself by crises, that is to say that the patient alternates between phases of pain and remission.

Inflammation is formed in the digestive tract and can touch multiple areas. It is most commonly found at the junction of the small intestine and the large intestine. This is the main cause of abdominal pain with persistent diarrhea (lasting several weeks in a row). Without treatment, patients suffer from great fatigue associated with weight loss.

The main problem of this disease is that we do not know the causes that cause this inflammation: some health professionals and specialists lean towards a autoimmune disease and a mix of triggers ranging from genetics to environmental causes. According to a study conducted on nearly 67,000 women in France in 2010, too much meat and of Pisces increase the risk of developing Crohn's disease.

How to recognize the symptoms of Crohn's disease?

The symptoms are very diverse but focus in particular around the digestive tract :

Frequent abdominal pain and cramps are noted with a peak of pain after meals. Chronic diarrhea (lasting more than 2 weeks) is also a very common symptom in patients.

It is possible to find traces of blood in the stool. If they are in large quantities, then we speak of haemorrhages. Some patients report nausea and vomiting, accompanied by slight fever.

Tiredness, headaches and weight loss are also manifestations of this disease. Joint, cutaneous or ocular symptoms can also be observed: skin lesions, mouth ulcers, painful nodules on the legs, rheumatoid arthritis (neck, kidneys, back, wrists, ankles ...). These affect between 15 and 20% of patients.

At the tweens, a pubertal delay can also evoke a Crohn's disease. Indeed, this condition also affects the youngest: nearly 3.35% of patients are under 19 years of age (source: National Observatory of IBD, 2015).

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