GASTROLAB / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GASTROLAB / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Crohn's disease. Endoscopic view of the interior of a patient's transverse colon (part of the large intestine) affected by Crohn's disease, showing large inflammatory polyps (swellings). Crohn's disease causes inflammation, thickening, and ulceration (white areas) of the intestinal tract. It often occurs in the ileum of the small intestine and in the colon (large intestine). Its cause is unknown and there is no cure. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea and the malabsorption of food, leading to weight loss. Treatment normally involves controlling the symptoms and maintaining remission where possible, using anti-inflammatory drugs and immunosuppressants. Surgical removal of inflamed regions of the intestine is sometimes also required.
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