Health Tip: Understanding Crohn's Disease
What it is, and possible treatment options
(HealthDay News) -- Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disorder that leads to ulcers inside the gastrointestinal tract. The cause of Crohn's is unknown, says the American Academy of Family Physicians.
Women are more often affected than men; Jewish people and Caucasians also are at increased risk. Crohn's affects about 500,000 people in the United States.
The most common symptoms of Crohn's include abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, bloody stools, nausea, fatigue, joint pain and weight loss, the academy says. Symptoms can range from mild to severe.
Treatment options vary; medications such as antibiotics and salicylates may be prescribed to help manage symptoms.
More aggressive Crohn's may require treatment with steroids, immunosuppresants, or a medication called infliximab (brand name: Remicade).