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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

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Chronic inflammatory disease expenditures nearly double

Posted: February 18 2020

“Compared to healthy controls, we know that individuals with inflammatory bowel disease experience higher health care costs,” Benjamin Click, MD, says. “What we have also seen from prior studies is that historically, health care utilization such as hospitalizations and surgery accounted for the majority of expenditures.” To assess changes in cost of IBD care over time, Click […]

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Don’t hate your guts – heal them

Posted: February 18 2020

Each one of us carries about 38 trillion bacteria around with us in our gut every day – if you wanted to count them all, it would take you more than a million years. How can such a veritable zoo of microbes reside peacefully in our guts without triggering our immune systems to attack them, […]

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Scientists examine how a gut infection may produce chronic symptoms

Posted: February 18 2020

Keeping inflammation in checkIn a healthy gut, the immune system must strike a careful balance between responding to threats and keeping that response in check to avoid damage.“Inflammation helps the gut ward off an infection, but too much of it can cause lasting harm,” says Daniel Mucida, an associate professor and head of the Laboratory of Mucosal […]

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Gut reaction: how immunity ramps up against incoming threats

Posted: February 17 2020

Researchers from the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute found, in laboratory models, that eating sets off a hormonal ‘chain reaction’ in the gut. Eating causes a hormone called VIP to kickstart the activity of immune cells in response to potentially incoming pathogens or ‘bad’ bacteria. The researchers also found that immunity increased at anticipated mealtimes […]

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Call for Australian government to introduce permit system for patients to grow medicinal cannabis

Posted: February 13 2020

In her submission to a Senate inquiry into barriers facing patients in accessing medicinal cannabis, Leone Harker said the current regulatory scheme was inadequate and patients should be able to grow their own cannabis plants. Ms Harker has suffered from Crohn’s disease for 16 years and has not found relief from it through the use […]

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7 Diet tips that can help manage Crohn’s symptoms and side effects

Posted: February 13 2020

Diet doesn’t cause Crohn’s disease—doctors don’t actually know the culprit behind the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—but what you eat (or don’t eat) can majorly impact how your body deals with it. That’s because Crohn’s affects the gastrointestinal tract, the part of the body that digests food, absorbs energy and nutrients, and expels waste. When Crohn’s is active—as […]

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