What is Crohn's Disease?

Crohn’s disease belongs to a group of chronic conditions known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) affecting the gastrointestinal tract. Symptoms may include diarrhea (sometimes with blood), as well as crampy abdominal pain, nausea, fever, loss of appetite, weight loss and fatigue.

When you have Crohn’s disease, you will not have the same symptoms all of the time. In fact, sometimes you may have no symptoms at all.


Crohn’s disease may affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from the mouth to anus, but mostly affects the end of the small bowel (the ileum) and the beginning of the colon. Crohn’s disease can also affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall. In Crohn’s disease, the inflammation of the intestine can “skip”- leaving normal areas in between patches of diseased intestine.

No one knows exactly what causes Crohn’s disease and no one can predict how this disease- once it is diagnosed- will affect a particular person. Some people go for year without having any symptoms, while others have more frequent flare ups or attacks.

Living with Crohn’s Disease in College

Crohn’s disease involves more than just medications and symptoms. It is a life changing condition that you are learning to manage, and it represents only part of your story. As you continue your journey with Crohn’s disease while in college, there may be many questions that you will have to navigate in order to help make your experience rewarding. This Campus Connection website will cover some helpful tips and information that you should know before, and during college, and offers a way for you to connect with others like you.

CC GI Tract

Read our Living with Crohn’s disease brochure to learn more about the disease, treatment and daily living.