EVAN OTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY EVAN OTO / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Illustrated sections of the colon showing the progression of Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease caused by an autoimmune response that attacks healthy tissue. The top image shows a normal colon while the image below it depicts the effects of Crohn's disease. 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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