EVAN OTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EVAN OTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
An illustrated section of the colon affected by Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease caused by an autoimmune response that attacks healthy body tissue. Chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract is most commonly seen around the ileum and cecum, causing the intestinal wall around the ascending colon to thicken or develop ulcers over time. The mesentery surrounding the outside of the large intestine also begins to thicken, which allows fat to wrap around the circumference of the bowel. Individuals can experience a range of symptoms such as abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, weight loss, diarrhoea or constipation.
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