What is Crohn's Disease?

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Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

  • 617-355-6058
  • International: +1-617-355-5209
  • Fax: 617-730-0254

Crohn’s Disease in Children

Crohn’s disease (CD) is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) where one or more parts of a child’s intestinal tract become inflamed. Crohn’s disease is a chronic — but highly manageable — disease.

While Crohn’s is more commonly diagnosed in young adults, it does affect children as well.

Some important facts about Crohn’s in children and teens:

  • Symptoms may be mild or severe.
  • Crohn’s often affects the small intestine, but can affect any part of the digestive tract, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, duodenum, appendix, colon or anus.
  • There is no cure. However, the right treatment plan can minimize or eliminate symptoms with medication and lifestyle changes. Read more about our approach to Crohn’s treatment.
  • The disease can go into long periods of remission, for months to even years.
  • It can affect any region of the digestive tract, including the mouth, esophagus, stomach, duodenum, appendix, colon or anus. The most common area to be affected is the last part of the small intestine (terminal ileum).
  • In rare cases, it starts with orofacial granulomatosis (OFG), a chronic inflammatory condition of the mouth highly associated with Crohn’s that often progresses to the bowel.

How the Boston Children's Hospital Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center approaches Crohn’s disease

Our clinicians provide a range of services and support for children and teenagers with Crohn's disease:

  • second opinions
  • management of IBD in school, work or social situations
  • management of medications
  • nutritional counseling
  • growth and development monitoring
  • surgical care (in certain cases)

Boston Children’s Hospital is the #1 ranked pediatric gastroenterology department (U.S. News & World Report), which includes a dedicated team of doctors and specialists in the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center. 

Our world-class care team helps children by providing individualized treatment plans and access to more specialized care than any other hospital. We see approximately 2,500 children each year, and our work is guided by our belief that children and young adults with IBD can live a happy and unhindered life. We care for children in Boston and in our many locations in Massachusetts.

As a leading referral center for pediatric IBD, our Center is committed to discovering the causes of, and improving the treatments for, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

We are grateful to have been ranked #1 on U.S. News & World Report's list of the best children's hospitals in the nation for the third year in a row, an honor we could not have achieved without the patients and families who inspire us to do our very best for them. Thanks to you, Boston Children's is a place where we can write the greatest children's stories ever told.”
- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000 | 800-355-7944
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS