Crohn’s disease isn’t that common, but if your child has it, they could experience bouts of severe pain and digestive upset. If you’re looking for a better way to manage your child’s condition, Ahmet Aybar, MD, can help at Annapolis Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition in Annapolis, Maryland. Dr. Aybar is a board-certified pediatrician who specializes in treating children and young adults who have gastrointestinal conditions like Crohn’s disease. Call Annapolis Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition today to schedule a consultation or book an appointment online.
Crohn’s Disease Q & A
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease is a chronic intestinal condition where your child develops inflammation, ulcers, and sores in their bowel. Crohn’s disease and another condition called ulcerative colitis are the most common types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Crohn’s disease can affect any part of your child’s digestive tract, but most commonly causes problems in the ileum, which is the lower end of your child’s small intestine. Crohn’s disease can develop at any age, but it’s most likely to affect children from the age of 15.
It’s not known what causes Crohn’s disease, just that it’s due to an abnormal immune system response that affects the gastrointestinal tract.
There appears to be a genetic link, so children might inherit the condition from their parents. However, the risk of your child developing Crohn’s disease is low.
Crohn’s disease is a debilitating illness at any age, but children who have the condition also suffer from stunted growth, delayed puberty, and weakened bones.
What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease vary according to which part of your child’s bowel is affected, and how severe their condition is.
Typical symptoms include:
- Chronic diarrhea
- Blood in the stool
- Rectal bleeding
- Weight loss
- Abdominal tenderness
Your child might also complain of having a full feeling in their lower right abdomen.
Serious complications can also affect some children who have Crohn’s disease, such as:
- Kidney stones
- Liver disease
- Skin rashes or ulcers
Your child might experience severe problems for some time and then have a remission, during which they have no symptoms. Remission might last for weeks or possibly years. There’s no way of knowing when your child is going to go into remission or how long the remission will last.
How is Crohn’s disease treated?
During the active stages of the disease, Dr. Aybar at Annapolis Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition aims to reduce the inflammation in your child’s bowel, correct any nutrient deficiencies, and relieve your child’s symptoms. Medications that can help with these aims include:
- Immune-suppressing drugs
Biologics are another form of medication Dr. Aybar uses to treat children who have Crohn’s disease.
These medicines are genetically modified proteins taken from the human immune system. An injection of biologic medication helps reduce the inflammation that Crohn’s disease causes.
Another essential aspect of treating children who have Crohn’s disease is analyzing their diet and nutrition.
Your child might need supplementation if they have any nutrient deficiencies, and they should follow a specially designed diet plan that Dr. Aybar and his team can prepare for you.
Find out more about managing your child’s Crohn’s disease symptoms by calling Annapolis Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition today, or book an appointment online.