Crohn’s disease causes chronic inflammation in the digestive tract.
Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease. It is a progressive condition, which means that it tends to worsen gradually. But symptoms can sometimes disappear for weeks or even years.
In this article, we look at what Crohn’s disease is and its stages and progression. We also cover symptoms, complications, and treatment.
What is Crohn’s disease?
Crohn’s disease affects the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which runs from the mouth to the anus and includes the stomach and intestines. The role of the GI tract is to break down the food a person eats and absorb the nutrients into the bloodstream. What remains at the end of this process is waste product, and the body passes it out as stool.
Crohn’s disease causes the GI tract to become inflamed. There are five different forms of Crohn’s disease, each affecting a different part of the GI tract:
- Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease affects the stomach and the beginning of the small intestine.
- Jejunoileitis affects the upper half of the small intestine, usually in patches.
- Ileitis affects the end of the small intestine.
- Ileocolitis affects the end of the small intestine and the large intestine.
- Crohn’s colitis, or granulomatous colitis, affects the large intestine.
Symptoms vary, depending on the part of the GI tract that is affected and how severe the inflammation is. Ileocolitis is the most common form of Crohn’s disease.
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