Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the digestive tract which causes gastrointestinal inflammation. The disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, but most commonly affects the colon. When generally harmless bacteria is digested in the gut, a person with Crohn’s will develop an immune response which leads to inflammation. The disease can also affect the thickness of the bowel wall. Since the disease can affect different parts of the digestion tract, it is important to know which type of Crohn’s disease you have. Each type is defined by which organ is affected.
Crohn’s can have different effects based on which organs are affected by the disease. There is a strong connection between genetics and Crohn’s. Between 5-20% of individuals with Crohn’s have a relative who also has the disease. Common symptoms include:
- Persistent diarrhea
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Rectal bleeding