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Understanding Crohn’s disease

This gastrointestinal condition can be distressing for patients, writes Hannah Yarrow

Crohn’s disease (CD) is one of two pathologies under the umbrella term inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis (UC) being the other. IBD affects more than 300,000 people in the UK, with approximately 115,000 of these being diagnosed with CD.1 The incidence is steadily increasing, particularly among young people. IBD can present at any age but is most commonly diagnosed between 10 and 40 years of age.2

IBD describes inflammatory disorders of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, which are relapsing and remitting in nature. They can have devastating effects on the patient’s quality of life, particularly during a relapse.1 Due to the unpredictable nature of the diseases, the patient can be plagued by fear of a relapse, therefore anxiety and depression can be concomitant conditions.3

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