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Crohn’s disease


Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It can be very painful and severely impact your day-to-day life.

What is Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease is an inflammation of your digestive tract, which can spread into your bowel. There currently isn’t a cure for Crohn’s disease, but there are ways of managing the condition.

What are the symptoms of Crohn’s disease?

The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can vary in severity and they may always be present, or they may come and go.

Common symptoms of Crohn’s disease can be:

  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhoea
  • Bloody stool
  • Frequent bowel movements
  • Feeling you still need to use the toilet despite just having a bowel movement
  • Feeling tired
  • Weight loss
  • Decreased appetite
  • Fever
  • Sores in the mouth
  • Anal fistula

What causes Crohn’s disease?

It isn’t known definitively what causes Crohn’s disease, but it is thought that it can be related to:

  • Family medical history – if someone in your family has Crohn’s disease, it’s possible that you’re more likely to experience it as well
  • Issues with your immune system

How is Crohn’s disease diagnosed?

If you have been experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, you should speak to your consultant.

At your appointment, your consultant will inquire about your symptoms, lifestyle and family medical history.

There isn’t a single test that can diagnose Crohn’s disease; rather your consultant will need to do a combination of tests to determine whether or not you have Crohn’s disease. These tests include:

  • Blood tests
  • Stool samples
  • A physical exam of your abdominal area
  • MRIs
  • CT scans
  • A colonoscopy
  • An endoscopy
  • A biopsy

How is Crohn’s disease treated?

There is currently no cure for Crohn’s disease, but there are different ways to manage the condition. These treatments are different for everyone, are can include:

  • Medication
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Nutrition therapy
  • Surgery

You and your consultant can further discuss which treatment options would be best for you.

If you’re unsure what treatment you should go for, or the above treatments don’t work for you, our team of expert specialists are here to help.

This content has been checked and approved by

Professor BuHussain Hayee  ›

Dr Hayee is a Consultant Gastroenterologist at King Edward VII’s Hospital, as well as King’s College Hospital, where he has been Clinical Lead for the department since 2015.

Find your specialist in Crohn's disease at King Edward VII's Hospital

If you suspect you have Crohn’s disease and you’re seeking an expert opinion, you can find the UK’s leading gastroenterologists here at King Edward VII’s Hospital. Our consultants are hand-picked for you, making it easy to access the best possible care.

Professor BuHussain Hayee  ›
Special interests include:
Abdominal pain (+ 21) more
Mr Alexander Von Roon  ›
Special interests include:
Colorectal cancer (+ 31) more

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