Crohn’s disease symptoms can appear at any age, but many people begin to see them before they turn 30. There’s no cure for Crohn’s disease, and treatment options can change based on your age and how severe the symptoms are.

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There’s no specific age range in which symptoms start to develop for people with Crohn’s disease.

While many people are diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in their 20s, others don’t receive a diagnosis until after they turn 60 years old.

General treatment options remain the same regardless of age, but certain people may experience unique challenges and differences depending on when their Crohn’s symptoms begin.

Crohn’s disease can appear at any age.

However, development of Crohn’s disease symptoms is most common in the teenage years and twenties. Approximately 25% of those with Crohn’s disease are diagnosed by the time they’re 20 years old.

While many individuals are diagnosed in their 20s, there is also a spike in the frequency of Crohn’s diagnosis between the ages of 60 to 80. Many people begin to experience their first symptoms somewhere in their 50s to 70s.

Pediatric Crohn’s disease in children under 6 years old is more rare, but the frequency is increasing.

More about Crohn’s disease

An estimated 3.1 million Americans have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. For those diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, this chronic condition will typically impact them on some level for the rest of their life after the initial symptoms develop.

While the exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, this condition impacts the GI tract and frequently results in inflammation of the small intestine and colon.

Left untreated, Crohn’s disease can lead to more serious health issues that include:

This is why it’s important to speak with your healthcare team if you believe you’re showing signs of this disease.

You can learn more about Crohn’s disease at Healthline here.

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The specific Crohn’s disease symptoms individuals experience may sometimes change over time. People with Crohn’s may also go through periods of time where the symptoms lessen, get worse, or temporarily disappear.

A 2017 study found that the symptoms of early onset IBD in children younger than 10 were typically more severe than those of adult onset IBD.

An older study also suggested that atypical presentation forms of symptoms like constipation instead of diarrhea are more common in people diagnosed with IBD when they’re older.

However, more research into this is needed to examine both of those issues and how age impacts Crohn’s disease.

Some common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea
  • blood in stools
  • loss of appetite and weight
  • fever

People with Crohn’s disease may feel an urgent need to go to the bathroom. They may also feel like they’re not completely done after going to the bathroom.

Children and adolescents are less likely to experience symptoms limited to the small intestines. About 30% will develop perianal disease, which affects the area around the anus.

Those children diagnosed with early onset Crohn’s disease may also experience nutritional deficits that negatively impact their growth and transition through puberty.

Little research has been published on the number of individuals who develop Crohn’s later in life.

It’s also important to note that Crohn’s disease may be more difficult to accurately diagnose in older individuals because of the large number of other conditions it might resemble and are more common as people get older.

There’s no cure for Crohn’s disease, and you can’t “age out” of it.

However, some people may go through periods of time where they experience few symptoms or none at all.

You can read more on the Crohn’s remission and relapse cycle at Healthline here.

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Regardless of age, doctors will focus on relieving Crohn’s disease symptoms and reducing the underlying inflammation. Treatment for all ages can take the form of medications, nutritional therapy, and surgery.

When determining the most appropriate medications, doctors will often consider a variety of factors, including the age of the patient and the severity of symptoms. Due to their potential complications, some medication options may not be appropriate for the very young or elderly.

Changes in one’s diet may help to reduce inflammation and may be beneficial at any age. More information on Crohn’s disease and nutrition can be found here.

Surgery may be necessary when other treatment options have failed or certain complications like intestinal fistulae have developed. Over time, numerous surgeries may be required for those with Crohn’s disease.

Up to 50% of children with Crohn’s disease who undergo one surgery require a second at some point during their lives.

Many people with Crohn’s disease show symptoms before they turn 30. However, it’s possible for this condition to appear at any age.

While there isn’t a cure for Crohn’s disease, people may have times when symptoms are absent or not as severe. It’s important to consult your healthcare team about any symptom changes and to factor in new treatment plansas you get older.