Crohn’s Disease: Causes & can you prevent it?

Crohn’s Disease is one of the two inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that affects the gastrointestinal tract, anywhere from mouth to anus.


  • Pain in the lower right side of the abdomen.
  • Diarrhea which may or may not accompany blood.
  • Flatulence & bloating
  • Bright or dark red stool.
  • Inflammation in the ileum can lead to watery stool at a large volume.
  • Inflammation in the colon can lead to smaller volume of stool, however at more frequency.
  • Inconsistency of feces
  • Nausea & vomiting
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Retardation of growth in children.
  • Fever
  • Loss of appetite & weight loss
  • Inability to digest fats or carbohydrates.
  • Inflammation of the various layers of the eye leading to blurry vision when exposed to light.
  • Stiff swollen joints, & back, manifestation of arthritis.
  • Ulcers in the mouth


  • Anal fistula & abscess
  • Perforation of the intestines
  • Malabsorption
  • Malnutrition
  • More chances of fungal infection
  • Also more chances of cavities
  • Vitamin deficiency which can lead to anemia
  • Seizure & stroke in severe cases
  • Depression
  • Increased risk of blood clots that can lead to DVT & Pulmonary Embolism.
  • Inflammation of the various layers & tissue under the skin.
  • Bilestone
  • Gangrene of the foot
  • Intestinal cancer/bowel cancer
  • Colon cancer


  • Due to genetic factors, in some scientific studies, mutations in some genes specific to the gastrointestinal tract can lead to higher chances of Crohn’s Disease.
  • Crohn’s Disease is highly associated with Celiac disease.
  • Impaired immune system
  • Due to impaired immune system, the microbial flora in the intestines is not controlled.
  • There is evidence and link between the toxicity of E.Coli in the intestines with Crohn’s Disease.
  • Increased intake of animal protein, milk protein & omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Stress
  • Age (15-30 years)


  1. Sigmoidoscopy
  2. Colonoscopy is usually more effective, as it allows for the direct visualization of the large intestine & colon, therefore detection for presence of polyps or possible tumor is done, also inflammation in the colon & intestines can be viewed.
  3. A tissue biopsy can be performed during colonoscopy with the help of arms attached to the scope that can extract any suspected attachment of polyp & also intestinal tissue for analysis.
  4. Imaging tests like X-ray is done, prior to the imaging, barium suspension are given which can later on be detected on the X-ray hence looking for any structural abnormalities, inflammation, obstruction & narrowing.
  5. CT scans & MRI can be conducted looking for small intestine abnormalities & complications that can arise due to Crohn’s Disease.
  6. Blood tests are done for determining anemia, Vitamin deficiency, etc, for instance low serum levels of Vit-D is usually a feature of Crohn’s Disease.
  7. Blood tests for testing presence of (ASCA) & (ANCA), which can differentiate Crohn’s Disease with Ulcerative Colitis.


  • There are no known treatments for Crohn’s Disease, although some medications can help ease the symptoms.
  • Antibiotics to treat infections
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs to ease the inflammation, like 5-ASA
  • Corticosteroids like prednisone
  • Immunomodulators like 6-MP, Methotrexate, etc.
  • Monoclonal antibodies
  • Iron supplements as parenteral iron.
  • Multivitamins
  • Surgery may also be required for complications such as obstructions, fistulas, or abscesses, or if the disease does not respond to drugs.
  • After the first surgery, Crohn’s usually comes back at the site where the diseased intestine was removed and the healthy ends were rejoined, however it can come back in other locations.
  • Colectomy, surgical removal of the large bowel.
  • Antidepressants & anxiety medications, as the condition can lead to mood disorders.


  • There is no known prevention of the disease although change in the diet may reduce the symptoms;
  • Staying hydrated
  • Diet that is rich in fiber & fruits
  • Low fat diet
  • Some people find comfort by eliminating dairy products & gluten.
  • Regular exercise
  • Cessation of smoking & alcohol consumption.
  • Management of underlying diseases & disorders.
  • Meditation & stress relief.