In the last quarter century, it has become clear that Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis affect large numbers of children and young teens. Nutritional deficiency is a major issue in treatment of children with Crohn's disease.
Children are growing machines. Inflammatory bowel disease may not cause great weight loss for youngsters at first, so failure to grow normally or backsliding on height and weight charts should be taken as signs that something is wrong and worth investigating.
Children facing Crohn's disease also have significant self-image issues to deal with. The disease changes their routines, and its effects may separate them from the normal activities of childhood and adolescence. Therefore, these youngsters need sensitive support from family, friends, and physicians to help them maintain their social, as well as their physical, growth.