Is Crohn's Disease Genetic?

Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn's disease is characterized by periods of remission, when the disease is inactive, and flares, when symptoms become active again (via MedlinePlus). There is no known single cause of Crohn's disease. However, it is thought to be the result of a combination of environmental and genetic factors. About 15 percent of people with Crohn's disease have a first-degree relative with the disease as well.

Another risk factor for Crohn's disease is poor immune system health. A certain virus or strain of bacteria may trigger this disease in some people, but scientists are unsure what the trigger may be. Crohn's disease usually develops in people who are under 30 years old and white, although it can affect all ethnicities and ages. Smoking also seems to play a role in Crohn's disease, as people who smoke are more likely to develop Crohn's disease and are less likely to respond well to treatment. Taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications does not cause Crohn's disease, but it can make symptoms worse in people who have it. There is not currently a cure for Crohn's disease, but there are treatments available that can help manage the symptoms and improve their quality of life.

What to know about Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It can cause swelling and irritation in any part of the gastrointestinal tract. The most common symptoms of Crohn's disease are abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue (via Medical News Today). In some cases, people may also experience fever, bloody stools, and mouth sores. There is no cure for Crohn's disease, but there are treatments that can help manage the symptoms. These include medication, surgery, and lifestyle changes. Some medication options include anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, and antibiotics. Surgery may be an option for people with severe Crohn's disease who do not respond to other treatments. Lifestyle changes that can help manage symptoms include eating a healthy diet, getting enough rest, and reducing stress.

Crohn's disease is a chronic condition, which means it can last for months or years. Some people experience long periods of remission, where they have no symptoms. However, the disease can flare up at any time. flares can be triggered by stress, infection, and certain medications. If you think you may have Crohn's disease, it's important to see a doctor for a diagnosis. Early diagnosis and treatment can help prevent complications and improve your quality of life. Many people with Crohn's disease live healthy lives with proper treatment.