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About Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition that most commonly affects the last segment of the small intestine (ileum) and the first part of the large intestine (caecum), although it can occur in any part of the GIT from the mouth to the anus. It is not uncommon for people with Crohn’s disease to have normal, healthy parts of tissue in between areas of inflammation. This has implications for how Crohn’s disease is treated, especially by surgery. Also, unlike ulcerative colitis, where the inflammation is limited to the innermost lining of the intestinal wall, in Crohn’s disease the inflammation can extend into the deeper layers, which can lead to the development of complications that are quite specific to the condition.

How does Crohn’s disease affect the intestines?

Crohn’s disease affects the GI tract, and the intestinal wall becomes inflamed (red and swollen). The inflammation can penetrate through all layers of the GI tract and may occur at one or more locations in the GI tract, from the mouth right through to the anus, with areas of normal tissue between areas of diseased tissue. Depending on the main areas of the intestine involved in Crohn’s disease, the condition can be referred to as:

  • Ileocolitis: involves the ileum and colon (small and large intestine)
  • Ileitis: involves the ileum only (small intestine only)
  • Crohn’s (granulomatous) colitis: involves the colon only (large intestine only)
  • Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease: involves the stomach and duodenum (small intestine)
  • Jejunoileitis: involves the jejunum (small intestine only)

Additional Information:

The latest news and Research


Kids with gut problems need mental health support

Childhood-onset IBD tends to have an even more severe disease course and longer duration than IBD diagnosed in adulthood.

We found that individuals with childhood-onset IBD were at increased risk of any psychiatric disorder and suicide attempt, including several categories of psychiatric disorders. Most of this association remained significant when comparing individuals with IBD with their siblings without IBD, thus accounting for environmental and genetic factors shared within siblings.  Our findings confirm and further […]

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New method to study Crohn’s disease microbes

Posted: August 21 2019

Identifying species among plants and animals has been a full-time occupation for some biologists, but the task is even more daunting for the myriad microbes that inhabit the planet. Now, MIT researchers have developed a simple measurement of gene flow that can define ecologically important populations among bacteria and archaea, including pinpointing populations associated with […]

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Personalised medicine and genetics

Scientists have identified specific links between genes and some diseases as well as between genes and the effectiveness of some medicines or treatments.

Many of us wonder why some people develop cancer while others do not and why a medication might work well for one person but be less effective or cause serious side effects in another. Although these differences are due to a number of important factors such as age, weight and lifestyle, our genetic make-up also […]

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Personal Story

How Crohn’s and a cancer scare turned this man into an endurance junkie

Posted: August 15 2019

It’s a typically windy day on St Kilda shorefront in Melbourne, and Quinn Darragh is in “absolute agony”. To make it here, Quinn, a Bondi lifeguard by trade, had to swim 1.5 kilometres, cycle 180 kilometres, and run a literal marathon (that’s 42 kilometres to you and me). That’s just what an Ironman has to […]

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Walnuts show ability to protect against Ulcerative colitis

Walnuts contain a complex array of natural compounds and phytochemicals that exhibit a wide range of health benefits, including protection against inflammation and colon cancer.

Dietary supplementation with nuts has shown a variety of health benefits. Among the tree nuts, walnuts (Juglans regia) contain the highest levels of the omega-3 fatty acid, namely alpha-linoleic acid (ALA), with the most favorable ratio of omega-3:omega-6 fatty acids (1:4.2) [1]. Walnuts also contain a large number of phytochemicals, including phenolic antioxidants, and high […]

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Cold-water treatment? A weekend with the ‘Ice Man’

Posted: August 14 2019

Best known for trying to scale Mount Everest in only a pair of shorts and hiking boots, Hof has broken more world records than even he can count. His feats include a near-fatal 57-metre swim under ice during which he went temporarily blind, and a barefoot half-marathon in the Arctic. He’s also immersed himself in […]

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