Crohn's Disease Symptoms, Diet and Nutrition

It is believed that nearly half a million Americans suffer from Crohn's disease, a severe inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that usually affects the final part of the small intestine and the beginning section of the colon. Similar to other inflammatory bowel disease, like ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease is painful and debilitating and can develop fatal complications.

Since Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis share similar characteristics Crohn's disease is sometimes misdiagnosed as ulcerative colitis. Both conditions can inflame the lining of the digestive, cause runny, bloody diarrhea, severe abdominal pain, loss of appetite and weight loss. However, unlike ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease can affect the entire digestive tract and penetrate deep into the affected tissues.

Symptoms of Crohn's disease can be either mild or severe and may develop gradually or suddenly, and without any warning. Crohn's disease symptoms usually include diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, bloody stools, intestinal ulcers and both appetite and weight loss.

While there are no known cures for Crohn's disease there are therapies that may reduce the signs, severity and symptoms of the disease.