Understanding Pediatric Crohn’s Disease

Understanding Crohn’s in Children Hero

What is pediatric Crohn’s disease (CD)?

Crohn’s disease belongs to a larger group of illnesses called inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).

  • Pediatric CD is associated with inflammation of the digestive tract, or
    gastrointestinal (GI) tract
  • While the exact cause of pediatric CD is not fully understood, research
    shows that it could be the result of several factors, such as genetics, the environment, or an immune system problem
  • Although there is no cure for CD, there are medications that may help patients, like your child, experience symptom reduction and achieve remission

Inflammation and the immune system

Inflammation is our immune system’s way of protecting us from bacteria, viruses, and other potentially harmful substances.

  • In children with CD, the immune system mistakenly attacks multiple layers of the walls of the gastrointestinal tract. This results in excess inflammation that can lead to the symptoms of CD.
  • Although it isn’t known for sure what causes the excess inflammation, too much of the protein TNF alpha may be to blame.
  • Our immune system naturally produces TNF alpha, but children with CD may be producing too much of it.

Understanding CD symptoms in children

Every child is unique, so CD progresses differently for everyone. Symptoms may be similar to other GI disorders, which may make CD diffcult to diagnose.

  • CD symptoms are unpredictable and often depend on the severity as well as the location of inflammation
  • Because CD is a chronic disease, your child’s symptoms can change or worsen over time
  • Children can go through periods when they experience few or no symptoms as well as periods when symptoms can become more frequent and intense

If your child is experiencing symptoms, even while being treated for CD, it could be time to talk with your child’s doctor about a different treatment.

Crohn's disease symptoms icon

Common CD symptoms your child may be experiencing:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fever
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Delayed growth
Common Symptoms of Pediatric CD

Remission: the goal of pediatric CD treatment

The goal of pediatric CD treatment is remission—few or no symptoms. If your child is taking medication for Crohn’s and still experiencing symptoms, talk to their doctor about other treatment options that may help.

HUMIRA, a biologic, specifically binds to TNF alpha, a source of inflammation that may be contributing to your child’s CD symptoms. HUMIRA is a prescription medicine used to treat moderate to severe Crohn’s disease (CD) in children 6 years of age and older. At your child’s next appointment, ask your doctor if treatment with HUMIRA may be able to provide remission and symptom relief.