It’s estimated that more than half a million people in the United States have Crohn’s disease (CD). While it’s most likely to develop in individuals who are 20 to 29 years old, 1 in 4 are estimated to show symptoms before they reach 20 years old.

CD can cause growth delays. If you are a younger individual with CD or a parent of a child with CD, you may be wondering what can be done to help.

“We have gathered some information that may help you feel more prepared to discuss your child’s development with their healthcare professional.”

Understanding what exactly CD is is necessary to understand how CD impacts children.

CD is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that doesn’t currently have a cure. It most commonly occurs in the small intestines and the colon but can occur anywhere from the mouth to the anus. (It can also be present in part of the digestive tract and then skip a section.)

CD can have early symptoms in children and teens.

It is possible to confuse these symptoms with food poisoning, allergies, or an upset stomach. If a doctor or healthcare professional persists, it is important to see them because early diagnosis can help an individual avoid more severe problems.

The symptoms may become more severe as CD progresses. It may cause something.

CD can have a range of symptoms. They can change over time and have life threatening flares. There is more research needed on how CD begins and how to manage it.

Delays in growth and delayed puberty are common in those with a pediatric CD diagnosis. Up to two-thirds of children with a CD diagnosis have impaired weight at the time of their diagnosis and up to one-third have impaired height. Growth delays in children can begin even before CD is diagnosed.

Growth delays may be caused by these.

  • The intake of food and drink has been reduced.
  • Poor absorption of vitamins.
  • Increased movements of the bowels.
  • Effects from inflammation and treatments.

“The male growth spurt during puberty is greater than the female’s, and it lasts longer.”

“Individuals with inflammation are more likely to have growth delays. CD growth delays can affect an individual’s final adult height. There are concerns about low bone density for those with CD. Even when the child’s weight and height are tracking as expected, it’s still important to monitor bone density.”

Individuals with CD who are concerned with height and weight may experience a delay in puberty. A delay or absence of menstruation can be experienced by those assigned female at birth. This is believed to be the reason.

  • Reduced fat mass is related to malnutrition.
  • Inflammation is disrupting the endocrine system.

CD actions can cause delayed growth. The treatments that doctors suggest to help put CD in remission and prevent flare-ups will have a positive effect on the individual.

One commonly recommended treatment option for children with CD is exclusive enteral nutrition. This means relying on a formula-based diet (without solid foods) for a short period of time. Exclusive enteral nutrition can cause CD to go into remission and help ensure that children get the nutrition they need to meet growth goals.

Because of the risks of decreasing bone mass, long-term corticosteroid therapy to treat inflammation is generally avoided, particularly for younger individuals with CD. This is another reason why some doctors use methods such as exclusive enteral nutrition, which can help lower inflammation in other ways.

Other treatment options include:

Long-term control of inflammation and sufficient nutrient intake are key to promoting typical puberty in those with pediatric CD. Using immunosuppressants or There are drugs called biologics. early to achieve remission and allow growth to catch up before puberty may be beneficial.

Studies on animals have suggested that cytokines and other mediators of inflammation have a suppressant effect on sex hormones. This can be reversed using anti-TNFα antibodies, and more research to fully understand the effects of these antibodies on children with CD and other inflammatory diseases is ongoing.

CD is important to preventing growth delays or weakened bones in children.

It is important to make sure children with CD are getting any care they need, because CD can cause emotional stress and physical effects.

There is still more research to be done on the effects of CD on children. If you or someone you know is showing symptoms of CD, you should immediately seek the advice of a doctor.