Crohn disease is a disease where parts of the digestive tract become inflamed.
- It most often involves the lower end of the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine.
- It may also occur in any part of the digestive system from the mouth to the end of the rectum (anus).
Crohn disease is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
Ulcerative colitis is a related condition.
Crohn's disease; Inflammatory bowel disease - Crohn's disease; Regional enteritis; Ileitis; Granulomatous ileocolitis; IBD - Crohn's disease
The exact cause of Crohn disease is unknown. It occurs when your body's immune system mistakenly attacks and destroys healthy body tissue (autoimmune disorder).
When parts of the digestive tract remain swollen or inflamed, the walls of the intestines become thickened.
Factors that may play a role in Crohn disease include:
- Your genes and family history. (People of Jewish descent are at higher risk.)
- Environmental factors.
- Tendency of your body to over-react to normal bacteria in the intestines.
Crohn disease may occur at any age. It most often occurs in people between ages 15 to 35.