Department of Health

Crohn's disease

Crohn's disease is a condition where any part of the digestive tract (from the mouth to the anus) becomes inflamed. Crohn's disease is believed to be an auto-immune disease, in which the immune system attacks the lining of the affected area. The most common areas of the digestive tract affected by Crohn's disease are the lower parts of the small bowel and the large bowel.

The cause of Crohn's disease is still unknown, despite there being extensive research conducted worldwide into the area.

The symptoms and their severity vary from person to person and may flare up or improve over time. Many people will experience periods of remission when they are completely free of symptoms. However, people who have Crohn's disease may experience any or all of the following:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Fever
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Nausea
  • Tiredness
  • Vomiting, and
  • Weight loss.

People with Crohn's disease of the anus can experience pain, or even itching, whilst using their bowel. Other people who have the disease affecting other parts of the body may experience any of the following symptoms:

  • Inflamed eyes
  • Jaundice
  • Skin rashes, and
  • Swollen joints.

Further information

For more information and support with Crohn's Disease, contact either your doctor or the Crohn's & Colitis Australia at the address below:

Level 1, 462 Burwood Road
Hawthorn VIC 3122
Phone: 1800 138 029