Redbridge SERC

Crohn’s disease- causes

Resource type: Frequently Asked Questions  —  Date posted: March 11th, 2012   Number of views: 783


What causes Crohn's disease?

The precise cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown. It may be a combination of factors including:

  • genetics - genes that you inherit from your parents may increase your risk of developing Crohn’s disease
  • the immune system - it seems that the immune system (the body’s natural defence against infection and illness) is responsible for the inflammation in the digestive system
  • previous infection - a previous infection may trigger an abnormal response from the immune system
  • environmental factors - Crohn’s disease is most common in westernised countries, such as the UK, and least common in poorer parts of the world
  • smoking - smokers with Crohn’s disease usually have more severe symptoms than non-smokers 

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