What is Crohn’s disease?

Reading time: 2 min

Crohn’s disease is a chronic illness that differs from ulcerative colitis because it can affect any section of the digestive tract with inflammation occurring in all layers of the intestinal wall. It may affect discontinuous areas, i.e., the digestive tract contains alternating sections of healthy areas and inflamed segments.

As inflammation affects the entire intestinal wall, Crohn’s disease can course with complications such as stenosis (narrowing of the intestinal lumen) and/or fistulas (a connection between two intestinal loops or to an organ, e.g., the urinary bladder) which may be accompanied by collections of pus.

The most frequently affected areas are:

  • Ileum: predominantly the distal ileum
  • Colon: any segment
  • Ileum and colon: both
  • Upper digestive tract: from the mouth to the proximal ileum

Síntomas más frecuentes de la Enfermedad de Crohn

abdominal pain

Dolor abdominal



abdominal mass physical examination

Abdominal pain

nausea vomiting

Nausea and/or vomiting

Weight scale with down arrow

Weight loss

thermometer fever

Fever (a sign of the condition’s severity)

Symptoms may vary depending on the disease’s location. When it affects the small intestine, patients primarily experience abdominal pain, diarrhoea, weight loss and/or loss of appetite. If the disease affects the colon, then the predominant symptom is diarrhoea with or without blood.

Substantiated information by:

Ingrid Ordas Jimenez
Marta Gallego Barrero

Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 4 September 2020


Receive the latest updates related to this content.

Thank you for subscribing!

If this is the first time you subscribe you will receive a confirmation email, check your inbox

An error occurred and we were unable to send your data, please try again later.