Crohn's disease - Kids & Teens
Treatment plan for Crohn’s disease
How may Crohn’s disease affect me?
is a long-term (chronic) disease that causes soreness and swelling
(inflammation) of the digestive tract. The symptoms come and go in
bouts known as flares.
belongs to a group of illnesses called inflammatory bowel disease,
or IBD. Ulcerative colitis is another type of IBD which affects the
colon (large intestine) and rectum.
(swelling, redness and sores) from Crohn’s disease can happen
anywhere along the digestive tract, from mouth to anus (bottom),
although it usually affects the walls of the large intestine (colon)
or the small intestine, or both. Many people with Crohn’s disease
feel pain and tenderness in the belly, especially the lower right
side, and have runny poo (diarrhoea). Sometimes the poo can be very
hard (constipation). Some people also have weight loss, bloody poo,
fever, anaemia (low levels of red blood cells in the blood, which
can make you feel faint, weak or breathless). It may also make you
feel very tired. Children with Crohn’s disease may not grow or
develop as a normal child would.
picture shows your digestive system and the parts of your body that
can be affected by Crohn’s disease. Colour it in and ask your doctor
to circle the parts of your digestive system that are affected.
Click here to print the
Some people with
Crohn’s disease have even more problems, such as scarring and
thickening of the intestine walls. This can create a narrowing of
the intestine wall, which is called a stricture, leading to
constipation, bloating and pain. The intestine walls may become
fully blocked (called an obstruction), which can cause severe pain
and vomiting that must be treated in the hospital. Another possible
problem is a fistula, or tunnel caused by infection that goes from
one part of the intestine to another or to the skin. Some people can
have trouble getting enough nutrients in their diet if the body is
unable to use (absorb) proteins, vitamins or minerals the way they
should. Crohn’s disease may also stop the body from using calcium
and vitamin D, which can lead to bone becoming thinner (called
osteoporosis). If you have any of these problems, you may need to
take medicine for it as well as for your Crohn’s disease.
can also be related to problems in other parts of the body, such
joints, eyes, mouth, liver, skin, blood or kidneys. Some of these
problems may get better when your Crohn’s disease gets better, but
sometimes you will need to take other medicine as well.
mild disease, a lot of these symptoms (such as blockages,
obstructions or having a fistula) won’t have occurred, so don’t
worry about them!