This is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that can affect any part of the digestive system, from the mouth to the back passage, although it mostly occurs in the last section of the small intestine, the ileum, or the large intestine, the colon. Its most usual symptoms include diarrhoea, abdominal pain and extreme tiredness, as well as bloody stools and weight loss on occasion.
This disorder often begins gradually and becomes worse over time. People with Crohn’s disease sometimes go for long periods without any symptoms or very mild ones, known as remission periods. These phases can be followed by very troublesome periods during which the disease flares up. The exact cause of this disorder is unknown, although researchers point out some factors like genetics, an immune system anomaly that causes it to attack healthy bacteria in the gut, smoking or environmental factors (curiously, the disease is more common in Western countries than in the world’s developing areas).