Crohn’s Disease 101: Everything You Need to Know

Medically Reviewed by Carolin Schneider, MD

Photo Courtesy: [Maskot/Getty Images]

Crohn's disease, also known as regional ileitis or ileitis terminalis, is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can affect any part of your gastrointestinal tract. It causes various symptoms, including abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting and weight loss. According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Crohn’s disease may affect as many as 800,000 Americans.

While the cause of this chronic condition is unknown, it has been shown that smoking is related to the development of Crohn’s disease. The symptoms of Crohn's may vary, depending on where in the gastrointestinal tract the inflammation occurs and how severe it is. This makes Crohn's disease challenging to diagnose.  

To find the correct diagnosis, your healthcare provider may analyze blood or stool samples and perform a colonoscopy. Even though there’s no surgical or pharmaceutical cure for Crohn's disease, various treatment options are available to keep symptoms under control.