Crohn's Disease

Leading care for this form of IBD.

Crohn’s disease is one of the major forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It results in the chronic (long-lasting) inflammation of the lining of your gastrointestinal (digestive) tract. This inflammation most often causes abdominal (belly) pain and severe diarrhea. It can even lead to malnutrition and life-threatening complications.

Unlike ulcerative colitis, which affects only the colon (large intestine), Crohn’s disease can cause inflammation in any part of the digestive tract — anywhere from your mouth to the very end of your intestines. Our team at Henry Ford is here to help you with the latest and most advanced treatment options for Crohn’s disease.

Crohn’s disease symptoms

Crohn’s disease affects each person differently. While abdominal symptoms are common, you may experience other, nongastrointestinal symptoms. You should see your doctor if you experience any major changes with your bowel habits or if you have any of the following signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping

  • Blood in your stool

  • Diarrhea

  • Rectal pain

  • Reduced appetite and weight loss

Diagnosing Crohn’s disease at the Henry Ford Center for IBD

Successful treatment of Crohn’s disease first requires an accurate diagnosis. Your doctor will provide one or more tests, such as an endoscopy, colonoscopy, small-bowel endoscopy or small-bowel imaging to pinpoint your inflammation and determine its severity. These tests will also help us rule out other conditions that have very similar symptoms and to evaluate whether you are at increased risk for developing colon cancer.

Nonsurgical treatment for Crohn’s disease

There’s no known cure for Crohn’s disease, but therapies are available that can dramatically reduce your symptoms:

  • Advanced medical therapies: There are several medications that have been shown to reduce inflammation and allow bowel tissue to heal. The main medications for this disease are 5-aminosalicylate agents, steroids, immunomodulators and biologic agents.

  • Nutrition management: Our dedicated nutritionists will work with you to maintain a healthy diet that may improve your symptoms, replace lost nutrients and promote healing.

  • Infusion treatments: We offer on-site and after-hours administration of many infusion medications used to treat IBD. Learn more about our infusion therapy.

Advanced surgical treatment for Crohn’s disease

If medications or other treatments you may have tried have not provided you with significant relief — or if tests have detected precancerous cells in your colon — you and your doctor may decide that surgery is the next step in your treatment plan. Advanced surgical procedures for Crohn’s disease at Henry Ford include:

  • Strictureplasty: opening up narrowed areas of the intestine
  • Resection: removing damaged sections of the small or large bowel
  • Colectomy or proctocolectomy: complete removal of the colon or the colon and rectum

Our surgeons specialize in these procedures and perform hundreds of them each year.

Take the Next Step

Contact us to schedule an appointment, call (800) 436-7936.

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