5 FAQs About Crohn's Disease


Barry Levitt, MD

Was this helpful? (25)
Doctor, patient

Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition that can make it difficult to perform everyday activities and get the nutrients your body needs.

But it’s also very treatable. Gastroenterologist Barry Levitt, M.D. answers the common questions his patients ask about Crohn’s disease management.

1. Q: What is Crohn’s disease?

A: Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It can affect any area of the GI tract, from mouth to anus. Unfortunately, we don’t know yet what exactly causes Crohn’s disease, but we tend to think the cause is multifactorial. We know there is a genetic component for some populations, and there also seems to be an environmental role as well. There also may be an infectious etiology, but at this time, research is inconclusive.    

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation because the body is responding to some intrusion, but we’re not quite sure what that is at this time. The body mounts a very heavy inflammatory response and that response can have a big impact on the body. Common symptoms include diarrhea, fatigue, abdominal pain, bloody stool, and weight loss. Some people with Crohn’s have unexplained fevers or develop rashes. Crohn’s symptoms can make life very difficult when they are not well controlled with the right therapy. If untreated, Crohn’s can cause complications that severely impact the digestive tract and other areas of the body. 

Dr. Tanvi Dhere, M.D., talks about what exactly Crohn's disease is, while also detailing what patients can do to treat the condition.

2018 Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. All rights reserved. May not be reproduced or reprinted without permission from Healthgrades Operating Company, Inc. Use of this information is governed by the Healthgrades User Agreement.