Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are diseases that inflame the lining of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and disrupt the body’s ability to digest food, absorb nutrition and eliminate waste in a healthy manner. They are the most common forms of a group of conditions that are collectively referred to as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and affect 1 in every 150 Canadians.
With Crohn’s disease, inflammation can occur anywhere in the GI tract, but is usually present in the lower part of the small bowel and the colon.
Since Crohn’s disease can be located anywhere in the GI tract, symptoms can vary. They often include abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weight loss and lack of energy. Crohn’s disease is a chronic (lifelong) illness. Most people experience periods of acute flare-ups when symptoms are active and other times symptoms go into remission. The average risk of a flare-up in a one year period is approximately 30%.
This information from Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is available here.