U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Crohn's Disease

​​​​Definition and Facts for Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease is a chronic, or long lasting, disease that causes inflammation and irritation in your digestive tract.
Symptoms and Causes of Crohn’s Disease
The most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are diarrhea, cramping and pain in your abdomen, and weight loss. Doctors aren’t sure what causes Crohn’s disease.
Diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease
Doctors typically do not use a single test to diagnose Crohn’s disease. You may need a combination of tests. Your doctor will also ask you about your medical history and your family history and will perform a physical exam.
​​​​​Treatment for Crohn’s Disease
Doctors treat Crohn’s disease with medicines, bowel rest, and surgery. The goal of treatment is to decrease the inflammation in your intestines, to prevent flare-ups of your symptoms, and to keep you in remission.
​​Eating, Diet, and Nutrition for Crohn’s Disease
Good nutrition can help you manage Crohn’s disease. Changing your diet can help reduce symptoms. Depending on your symptoms or medicines, your doctor may recommend a specific diet, such as a diet that is high calorie, lactose free, or low fat.
​​​Clinical Trials for Crohn’s Disease
The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) and other components of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) conduct and support research into many diseases and conditions.
Related Diagnostic Tests​
Related Conditions & Diseases​
Your Digestive Sys​tem and How it Works

The digestive system is made up of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract-also called the digestive tract-and the liver, pancreas, and the gallbladder. The GI tract is a series of hollow organs joined in a long, twisting tube from the mouth to the anus.​

Related Research

See more about digestive diseases research at NIDDK.

This content is provided as a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), part of the National Institutes of Health. The NIDDK translates and disseminates research findings through its clearinghouses and education programs to increase knowledge and understanding about health and disease among patients, health professionals, and the public. Content produced by the NIDDK is carefully reviewed by NIDDK scientists and other experts. 

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