While some patients experience Crohn’s disease as a constant disease, the majority of patients experience an unpredictable cycle of flare-ups with periods of less active remission.
This can have a negative impact on a patient’s quality of life and emotional well-being.
Causes of Crohn’s disease are unknown, but experts suggest it could be a combination of factors including genetics, the immune system or smoking.
The disease is not currently curable but there are a number of treatments for sufferers.
NHS Choices said people with Crohn’s disease often have a disrupted immune system, which sends a protein to kill all bacteria – regardless of whether they are beneficial to the gut.
Crohn’s can affect any part of the gut, though the most common area affected is the end of the ileum (the last part of the small intestine), or the colon.