Crohn’s disease is a chronic digestive disorder and a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) which causes inflammation in the lining of the digestive system. The disease extends deep into the wall of the intestine and from the mouth to the anus, the disorder can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract (GI) – this is where food is digested and nutrients are absorbed. For example, in the ileum, Crohn’s can cause the lumen in the system to narrow, thickening of the bowel wall and ulceration. Anatomy of affected organs in Crohn’s diseaseIn Crohn’s disease, inflammation of the tract occurs slowly and progressively. The gastrointestinal tract contains bacteria that helps digest food. The immune system destroys bacteria and other microorganisms. Normally, the bacteria in the tract are protected from this attack however in Crohn’s disease, the bacteria are mistaken for foreign invaders and the digestive tract is attacked by the immune system, classifying it as an autoimmune disease. This causes inflammation in the tract which results in wall thickening, ulceration and eventually patient symptoms. As a result of the ulceration, the ulcers can form tunnels called fistulas. These can become infected which may require surgery. This can also lead to abscesses forming and fistulas developing on other parts of the body, such as the bladder or skin in a previously injured area. The disorder is prevalent in adults aged 20-40 years. However, the cause of the digestive disorder is unknown. Diet and stress may contribute to the disease, however they are not enough to cause the disease. General risk factors could include infections, allergies, immune system disorders. There is also a genetic factor -the risk of developing Crohn’s increases if a first-degree relative already has the disease. Common symptoms and signs of the disease include:Diarrhoea with blood and pusAbdominal painConstipationRectal bleedingWeight loss Nausea and feverAnorexiaFatigueNight sweatsWithin the digestive system, Crohn’s disease can result in poor digestion, intestinal blockages, nutritional deficiencies.Outside the intestines, the disease can cause redness in eyes, soreness in the mouth, painful joints and skin bumps. In addition, people who suffer from Crohn’s can end up with bowel syndrome. There are also some cases where osteoporosis (fragile bones) can occur due to a deficiency in vitamin D and calcium. Crohn’s can also increase the risk of developing cancer if it occurs in a digestive organ, e.g. the small intestine.