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Child clutching her stomach in pain and discomfort.
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When your child’s tummy troubles turn out to be more than “just a little bug,” it’s time to get them checked out.

Is your child always running to the bathroom to poop? Does their belly hurt? Are they losing weight? These symptoms are common with Crohn’s disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which can flare up without warning. Even mild cases of Crohn’s can make everyday life challenging — and unpredictable — for your child (and you).

At Cleveland Clinic Children’s, we’ll do everything we can to keep Crohn’s disease from interfering with your child’s life. Our expert providers work together to keep their flare-ups to a minimum and help your child feel like themselves again.

Why Choose Cleveland Clinic Children’s for Crohn’s Disease Care?

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High-volume specialty:

We treat one of the largest populations of children with digestive disorders in the nation. Our deep experience means we know how to successfully diagnose and treat mild to severe Crohn’s disease.

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Minimally invasive options:

Our providers use the newest, minimally-invasive procedures to diagnose and treat Crohn’s disease.

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Skilled collaborative providers:

Cleveland Clinic Children's is one of the few hospitals in the country that provides seamless care for people with IBD throughout their life. Our pediatric and adult colorectal specialists work as a team to care for your child now and as they transition into adulthood. Meet our team.

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National recognition:

U.S. News & World Report consistently ranks Cleveland Clinic Children's a top hospital in the nation. Newsweek has also named Cleveland Clinic a top hospital in the world.

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Virtual visits:

While some appointments need to be in person, we know it can be hard to leave home with children who aren’t feeling well. With our virtual visits and follow-ups, your child will get one-on-one care from their provider from the comfort and convenience of your house. All you need is an internet connection and a smartphone, tablet or computer.

Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease at Cleveland Clinic Children’s

When your child has symptoms of Crohn’s disease, you likely want to figure out what’s wrong quickly. We’re here to make it easy for your child to get all the care they need, under one roof. Your child’s team of providers could include:

Testing for Crohn’s disease starts with a physical exam, blood tests and a stool (poop) sample.

We’ll also use the latest diagnostic tools — like high-definition cameras and display monitors — to show us live images of your child’s digestive tract during these tests:

Your child might also have an MRI or CT scan. All of these tests help us look for swelling and other things that aren’t quite right.


We offer treatment for Crohn's disease at the following location in Northeast Ohio.

Treating Crohn’s Disease at Cleveland Clinic Children’s

We treat all types of Crohn’s disease — and the complications that sometimes go along with it — so you can rest assured your child is in expert hands. Your child’s providers will work together and with your family to make sure your child gets the best care that focuses specifically on their needs. Even though Crohn’s is a chronic (lifelong) condition, with the right treatment, it can be managed. Your child’s providers may recommend:


Medications work by bringing down inflammation in your child’s body and lowering the immune response causing your child’s symptoms. Some medications target specific symptoms, like severe diarrhea.

Your child’s provider may recommend one or a combination of medications to manage their Crohn’s disease. They might take a pill or have the medication given directly into their veins (intravenously). Our infusion specialists work with children of all ages and will do everything they can to keep your child comfortable.

Nutrition therapy

Eating the right foods can ease your child’s Crohn’s disease symptoms, support their immune system and help them grow and develop. Our team of pediatric dietitians will work closely with your child’s care team to plan a healthy diet for your child that helps them feel better and gives them the proper nutrition.

Exclusive Enteral Nutrition Therapy (EEN)

If solid food continues to irritate your child’s digestive tract, their provider may recommend exclusive enteral nutrition therapy (drinking only nutritional formula or “shakes” for eight weeks) to give your child’s intestine a break and a chance to heal. Depending on your child’s condition, their provider may include a small amount of solid food on top of the shakes. After about four weeks, more blood tests will be run to see how the exclusive enteral nutrition therapy (EEN) is working. If your child won’t drink any or all of the formula, EEN is still an option. The shakes can be given through a small tube (size of a spaghetti noodle) that your child’s provider places through your child’s nose and into their stomach.


Surgery won’t cure Crohn’s, but it can treat complications like:

  • Fistulas (abnormal openings in your child’s organs).
  • Intestinal obstructions (blocks).
  • Perianal disease (infections and fistulas).
  • Life-threatening bleeding.

Clinical Trials for Crohn’s Disease at Cleveland Clinic Children’s

Clinical trials can give your child another treatment option, especially when other therapies haven’t worked. If you’re interested, ask your provider if your child is able to take part in one of these trials.

Support for Older Children with Crohn’s Disease at Cleveland Clinic Children's

As they move from child to teenager, we’ll help them learn more about managing their Crohn’s disease as they become a young adult. They’ll also learn how healthy eating can help their Crohn’s and where to get mental health support if they need it. We can also connect your family with other young people with Crohn’s, and we encourage your child to join the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.

Taking the Next Step

Crohn’s disease is a tough diagnosis for your child — and for you. The symptoms are unpredictable and challenging. But know that you aren’t alone. At Cleveland Clinic Children’s, we’ll give your child and your family the care, support and education you need to manage this condition now and in the future.

Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Crohn’s disease experts is easy. We’re here to help your child get care.


Getting an appointment with Cleveland Clinic Children’s Crohn’s disease experts is easy. We’re here to help your child get care.

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