Crohn’s ileitis is a form of Crohn’s disease and causes inflammation in the ileum (the last part of the small intestine).
Crohn’s ileitis is thought to account for around 30% of cases of Crohn’s disease. It is a life-long chronic condition which cannot currently be cured and is part of a group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
The symptoms for this type of Crohn’s disease are very similar to the symptoms of ileocolitis.
What is Crohn's disease?
Crohn’s disease causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. There are 6 types of Crohn's disease. It most commonly affects the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine, however it can affect any part of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus.
Crohn’s disease can affect the entire thickness of the digestive tract wall and may also skip areas - meaning you could have inflammation near you mouth and also in your small bowel but no where in between.
It is common for people with Crohn’s disease to be diagnosed with more than one type of the condition if inflammation is present in several places in the GI tract.
Treatments currently include medication and surgery. Some people have severely inflamed or damaged parts of their bowels surgically removed (resection). This can reduce or eliminate the symptoms, however it does not get rid of the disease and there is a risk that it will return to another area of the GI tract in the future.
Some people also make adjustments to their diet and lifestyle to support their medical treatment - such as exercise, improving quality of sleep, reducing stress.
What complications can occur with Crohn's ileitis?
Fistulas: Fistulas or inflammatory abscesses may form in the right lower part of the abdomen. A fistula is a channel that develops between one organ and another so that they are connected. There are many different types of fistulas (depending on where the fistula links between). Around 1 in 3 people with Crohn’s disease develop a fistula at some point.
Strictures: Over time the wall of the intestine can become thickened due to scar tissue caused by chronic inflammation. This can cause the intestine to become blocked, either partially or fully, slowing or stopping movement of food or stool through the intestines. A complete bowel obstruction is life-threatening and often requires surgery.