Crohn's Disease Overview

What are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis?

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Both are characterised by chronic inflammation of the intestine leading to symptoms of diarrhoea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, fatigue and sometime loss of weight. The conditions mainly occur in people between the ages of 20 and 40 but can occur in those much younger or older.

Ulcerative colitis essentially only affects the colon (large intestine) and does so to a varying extent. Some patient just have the rectum affected, known as proctitis, which usually presents with rectal bleeding, mucus and an urgency to open ones bowels. More extensive colitis, involving left side, most or all of the colon, causes diarrhoea as well as the above symptoms. Crohn’s disease, on the other hand, can affect any part of the gut from the mouth to the anus but most commonly results in inflammation near the junction of the small and large intestine.

The inflammation is more intense with deeper ulceration and often causes narrowing of the intestine. Pain is therefore more common with Crohn’s disease as well as diarrhoea and weight loss.

How do I get treatment?

To get further information or treatment, please contact one of our consultants at The London Bridge Digestion centre, on:

tel: +44 (0) 20 7403 3814