The 5 Types of Crohn’s Disease

Crohn's disease is part of a group of diseases known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There are five types of Crohn's disease, each with its own set of symptoms.

What are the five types of Crohn's disease?

The five types of Crohn's disease and their symptoms are:

Ileocolitis: This is the most common type of Crohn's disease. It affects the small intestine, known as the ileum, and the colon.

Symptoms: You might have:

Ileitis: This type of Crohn's disease just affects the ileum.

Symptoms:

  • Considerable weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Cramping
  • Pain in the middle or lower right part of your abdomen
  • Fistulas, or inflammatory abscesses, may form in the lower right section of your abdomen.

Gastroduodenal Crohn's disease: This form affects the stomach and duodenum, which is the first part of the small intestine.

Symptoms:

  • Nausea
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting (if narrow segments of bowel are obstructed)

Jejunoileitis: This type of the disease causes areas of inflammation in the jejunum, which is the middle part of your small intestine.

Symptoms:

  • Cramps after meals
  • Fistulas
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain that can become intense.

Crohn's (granulomatous) colitis : This form of Crohn's disease affects only the colon.

Symptoms:

  • Skin lesions
  • Joint pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Ulcers, fistulas, and abscesses around the anus

There can be overlap between these types of Crohn's disease. Sometimes more than one area of your digestive tract is affected.

Crohn’s Phenotypes

The disease can be further divided by phenotypes, or physical characteristics as it gets worse. For Crohn’s, these are based on:

  • Your age when you were diagnosed:
    • Child
    • Young adult
    • Elderly
  • The affected body part:
    • Terminal ileum
    • Colon
    • Ileocolon
    • Upper gastrointestinal tract
  • How the disease behaves:
    • Stricturing: The disease causes swelling and scarring on the walls of your intestine. This makes the walls thicker and can form strictures, or narrowed areas, that lead to blockages.
    • Penetrating: Crohn’s causes fistulas, perianal ulcers, inflammatory masses, or abscesses
    • Uncomplicated

What can I do to manage Crohn's disease?

It is very important to maintain a healthy lifestyle, even when your disease goes into remission for long periods of time. You should:

  • Exercise regularly.
  • Eat healthy foods.
  • Avoid smoking.
WebMD Medical Reference Reviewed by Minesh Khatri, MD on June 14, 2018

Sources

SOURCES:

Crohn's Colitis Foundation of America: "About Crohn's Disease."

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: "Crohn's Disease."

Best Practice & Research Clinical Gastroenterology: “Necessity of phenotypic classification of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.”

 

Gut: “Behaviour of Crohn’s disease according to the Vienna classification: changing pattern over the course of the disease.”

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation: “Intestinal Complications.”

© 2018 WebMD, LLC. All rights reserved.