According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, over a million people in the US are living with a form of irritable bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s and Colitis. Often called the invisible illness and sometimes confused with other IBDs, you may be wondering exactly what is Crohn’s disease? Here’s are 30 important facts you should know about this painful and chronic inflammatory disease.
1. What is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease that can affect the lining of all areas of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Other IBDs, such as ulcerative colitis, will only affect certain specific areas of the digestive system.
2. Symptoms Can be Painful
Crohn’s attacks, or flares, can often cause symptoms including abdominal pain, fever, diarrhea and rectal bleeding, per the Cleveland Clinic.
3. Gender Can Play a Role in IBD
A 2013 study found that boys are more likely to develop IBD than girls, although Crohn’s disease affects males and females equally.
4. IBD Can Run in the Family
NIH estimates that between 5 and 20 percent of Crohn’s sufferers have a first-degree relative who also has the disease.
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