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 - Northwestern Memorial Hospital - Chicago

Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). Inflammatory bowel disease is a general name for disease that causes inflammation in the small bowel and colon. People with inflammatory bowel disease have abnormalities of the immune system, but doctors do not know whether these abnormalities are a cause or a result of the disease. The body’s immune system is believed to react abnormally to the bacteria in the digestive tract. There is no known cure for inflammatory bowel disease, but there are therapies that reduce the symptoms and may even bring on a long-term remission.

Internet Resources

MedlinePlus: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
Developed at the National Library of Medicine specifically for health care consumers, this site is a portal for both government-sponsored and privately-developed trusted sources of health information targeting the lay public.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse: Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
This information clearinghouse is a service of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases which is part of the National Institutes of Health.

Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America
This non-profit foundation funds research for these diseases and provides support for children and adults affected by these diseases.


  • IBD self-management: the AGA guide to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Kane SV. 2010.
  • Crohn’s and colitis diet guide. Steinhart AH. 2008.
  • Why doesn’t my doctor know this?: conquering irritable bowel syndrome, inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s disease and colitis. Dahlman D. 2008
  • 100 Questions and Answers about Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Warner AS. 2007.
  • How to cook for Crohn’s and colitis. Roscher B. 2007.
  • Gale Encyclopedia of Medicine. Longe JL, ed. 2011. Available in print at the Health Learning Center or electronically at http://www.nmh.org/nm/health+library+virtual+library.

Search our collection for more resources concerning Crohn’s disease and other inflammatory bowel conditions.


The Health Learning Center has several models of the digestive system and various separate digestive organs. Check with a staff person or volunteer for assistance.


  • “Management of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) in adults: conventional and complementary/alternative approaches.” Alternative Medicine Review. Yoon SL et al. June 2011. 16(2):134–151.
  • “New pathophysiological insights and modern treatment of IBD.” Journal of Gastroenterology. Engel MA, Neurath MF. June 2010. 45(6):571–583.
  • “A practical guide to vaccinating the inflammatory bowel disease patient.” American Journal of Gastroenterology. Wasan SK et al. June 2010. 105(6):1231–1238.
  • “Digestive disorders. How to recognize problems, what increases risk.” Mayo Clinic Women’s Healthsource. March 2010. Suppl:1–8.
  • “Inflammatory bowel disease and infection concerns. Mayo Clinic Health Letter. August 2008. 26(8):4.


Contact the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America Illinois chapter at http://www.ccfa.org/chapters/illinois/ or call 1-847-827-0404.

Call the national office at 1-800-932-2423, or e-mail at info@ccfa.org.

Contact Us

For more information, please contact the Health Learning Center at 312-926-5465 or HLC@nmh.org.

Last UpdateMarch 12, 2012