child is in remission or when their symptoms may return.
Crohn’s vs. ulcerative colitis
Blood tests and endoscopy are also used to diagnose and to distinguish Crohn’s from ulcerative colitis, another type of inflammatory bowel disease that causes rectal bleeding, Schaefer adds.
The causes of Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis aren’t clear, but it is known that family history plays a role.
“If a family history of IBD is present, there is an increased risk for a child to get it, but it’s not definitive. It is difficult to predict,” Dr. Tolulope Falaiye, also a pediatric IBD specialist at Penn State Hershey, said in the news release.
Even within families, symptoms and severity of the disease can vary widely. While some people manage to control the condition for a long time after the first flare-up, others have recurrences.
“We always tell families it is a lifelong condition,” Schaefer says.
Another cause of IBD may be that a virus or bacteria is affecting the body’s infection-fighting system (immune system). This means your child’s immune system may have an abnormal inflammation reaction in the intestinal wall that doesn’t stop.
Many children that have Crohn’s may have an abnormal immune system, although experts are uncertain if immune problems cause the disease or if Crohn’s causes immune problems.
Certain foods or a stomach bug can trigger symptoms in some people with inflammatory bowel disease, but