Inflammatory Bowel Disease | Causes & Risk Factors


What causes Crohn's disease?

It is not yet known what causes Crohn's disease. It seems to run in families, but there is no known pattern of inheritance. About 500,000 people in the United States have Crohn's disease. Anyone can get Crohn's disease.

What causes ulcerative colitis?

No one knows for sure what causes ulcerative colitis either. Some doctors think it may happen when your body overreacts to normal bacteria in your digestive system. Ulcerative colitis also seems to be hereditary. This means it runs in families.


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Written by editorial staff

Reviewed/Updated: 02/11
Created: 01/98