Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease is a lifelong condition where parts of the digestive system become inflamed.

It's one type of a condition called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Symptoms of Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease affects people of all ages. The symptoms usually start in childhood or early adulthood.

The main symptoms are:

The symptoms may be constant or may come and go every few weeks or months. When they come back, it's called a flare-up.

When to see a GP

See a GP if you or your child have:

A GP will try to find out what's causing your symptoms and may refer you for tests to check for Crohn's disease.

Treatments for Crohn's disease

There's no cure for Crohn's disease, but treatment can help reduce or control your symptoms.

The main treatments are:

You'll usually have a team of health professionals helping you, possibly including a GP, a specialist nurse and specialist doctors.

Living with Crohn's disease

Living with Crohn's disease can be difficult at times. Unpredictable flare-ups and regular check-ups with your care team can disrupt school, work and your social life.

But if symptoms are well controlled, you can live a normal life with the condition.

Support is available from your care team and organisations like Crohn's & Colitis UK if you need it.

Causes of Crohn's disease

The exact cause of Crohn's disease is unknown.

It's thought several things could play a role, including:

There's no evidence to suggest a particular diet causes Crohn's disease.

Page last reviewed: 22 April 2021
Next review due: 22 April 2024