Patient Guide

Crohn's Disease (Regional Enteritis)

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal intestinal tract that can affect any part of the gut from the mouth to the anus, but is more commonly found in the ileum (lower part of the small intestine) and colon (large intestine).  

Its cause remains to be elucidated but is thought to involve a complex interplay of immune, environmental, microbial and genetic factors. The common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include abdominal pain (often in the lower right region of the abdomen), diarrhoea, blood and mucus in the stool, weight loss and fever. It affects mainly young adults (in their 2nd and 3rd decade of life) but may be seen in young children and elderly as well. Endoscopy of the colon and small intestine with histological examination of biopsy specimens is often needed to diagnose this condition. Pharmacotherapy remains the cornerstone of treatment, with most patients requiring lifelong therapy due to the chronicity of the disease, while surgery is reserved for those failing medical treatment or for specific complications. Pharmacotherapy includes the use of Sulfasalazine, Thiopurines (Azathioprine, 6-Mercaptopurine), Methotrexate and biologics (Infliximab, Adalimumab, Certolizumab, Natalizumab) and short term use of corticosteroids.

If you have or suspected to have Crohn’s disease, please contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Clinic for an appointment.