Understanding Crohn’s Disease

Woman with Crohn's

First off: What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

Woman with Crohn's

Crohn's Can Affect Any Part of the GI Tract

Crohn's can affect areas from the mouth to the anus. But it most commonly affects the end of the small intestine (ileum) where it links to the beginning of the colon.

Crohn’s Can Also Affect:

EYES

SKIN

JOINTS

Even though the reasons aren’t entirely understood, the impact of IBD is not always confined to the GI tract. Some people develop symptoms related to the disease in other parts of the body. These are just a few of the areas where extraintestinal (outside of the intestines) complications may be evident.

Who Gets Crohn's Disease?

Up to 20% of people with Crohn’s have a first-degree relative (parent, child, or sibling) with IBD

Affects men and women equally

As many as 780,000 Americans may be affected by Crohn's

Crohn's can occur at any age but often is diagnosed between ages 15 to 35

Symptoms can range from mild to severe

Want more quick facts? Download the basic guide: Crohn’s Disease 101

Learn about treatment options for Crohn's disease.

 

Differences Between Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis (UC)

Ongoing inflammation of the GI tract happens with both Crohn’s and UC, but there are some key distinctions.

    Crohn's Disease

  • Affects any part of the GI tract (from mouth to anus)
  • May appear in “patches”—leaving some sections of the GI tract untouched
  • Inflammation may extend through entire thickness of bowel wall
  • About 67% of people in remission will have at least 1 relapse over the next 5 years

    Ulcerative Colitis

  • Limited to the large intestine (colon) and the rectum
  • Pattern may spread continuously to involve entire colon
  • Inflammation only occurs in the innermost lining of the intestine
  • About 30% of people in remission will have at least 1 relapse over the next year
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QUESTION FOR YOU

How long have you been diagnosed?

"I'm not diagnosed"

It’s still important to be open about symptoms you might be experiencing.

Partner with your doctor>

 

"Under a year"

Always stay positive and be proactive. Make sure you know the facts about your condition.

GET THE FACT SHEET>

"1 to 3 years"

Make the most out of every appointment with your specialist.

GET THE Doctor Discussion Guide>

"3 to 5 years"

Do you know how inflammation affects you inside the body—and impacts your symptoms?

See Inside Inflammation>

 

"Over 5 years"

Keep treatment conversations open with your specialist and have more productive visits.

Get The Doctor Discussion Guide>

 

Man holding stomach in pain

QUESTION FOR YOU

How often do you experience symptoms?

“Daily”

Schedule an appointment with your specialist and make the visit even more productive.

Get the Doctor Discussion Guide>

“Weekly”

Have an open conversation with your specialist. Make the most of your next visit.

Get the Doctor Discussion Guide>

“Monthly”

Make sure that you’re telling your doctor everything they need to know to help you.

Get the Doctor Discussion Guide>

“Rarely”

Did you know that inflammation can affect you—even if you don’t have symptoms?

SEE INSIDE INFLAMMATION>

Person typing on laptop keyboard

Know the basics of Crohn’s or UC

See an overview of facts on Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC)—all on one downloadable page.

son sitting at a desk viewing inflammation inside the body on a laptop

Understand your inflammation

Explore and learn how inflammation affects you with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC)—from inside the body.

IBD Is Not IBS

It’s important not to confuse an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—like Crohn’s or UC—with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a disorder that affects the muscle contractions of the bowel and is not characterized by intestinal inflammation, nor is it a chronic disease.

Person looking at map on mobile phone

Looking for a gastroenterologist?

Find a gastroenterologist—a doctor who specializes in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC)—near you.

Woman going over her doctor discussion guide with her doctor

Make the most of your appointments

Our doctor discussion guide can help you talk effectively with your doctor during your visits.

Stopwatch

Is it time to make a personalized action plan?

See how much time your disease is impacting you. Answer 5 quick questions and get 3 customized, timely steps to help you and your doctor take action with your disease.

Hand holding restroom request card

Get a Restroom Request Card* and helpful info

Have a discreet way to ask for access to restricted restrooms if you have symptoms. And get updates, resources and more sent to your inbox.

Person sitting at a desk viewing inflammation inside the body on a laptop

Understand your inflammation

Explore and learn how inflammation affects you with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC)—from inside the body.

Woman going over her doctor discussion guide with her doctor

Make the most of your appointments

Our doctor discussion guide can help you talk effectively with your doctor during your visits.

Person looking at map on mobile phone

Looking for a gastroenterologist?

Find a gastroenterologist—a doctor who specializes in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC)—near you.

Stopwatch

Is it time to make a personalized action plan?

See how much time your disease is impacting you. Answer 5 quick questions and get 3 customized, timely steps to help you and your doctor take action with your disease.

More Knowledge. More Power.

What are the symptoms of Crohn’s?

See the different symptoms and severities.

What causes Crohn’s?

Find out how it may be a result of an interaction of factors.

How do you test for Crohn’s?

Understand diagnosis and disease evaluation testing.

How is Crohn’s a progressive disease?

Find out how Crohn’s may get worse over time.

What treatments are there for Crohn’s?

Understand your medication options.

What are some tips for daily life with Crohn’s?

Get everyday advice on how to manage Crohn’s.

Real Crohn's patient

There are so many ways to help yourself, so you need to be proactive.

SARAH | Real Crohn's Patient

Real Crohn's patient

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