How Do You Get Crohn’s Disease?

Ask a Doctor

A coworker of mine has Crohn's disease and I’m worried I might contract it. Is Crohn's disease contagious?

Doctor’s Response

No, Crohn's disease is not contagious.

Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the GI (gastrointestinal tract), and can appear anywhere in the GI tract. The exact cause of Crohn's disease remains unknown.

  • Current theories suggest that genetics, environment, diet, blood vessel abnormalities, and/or even psychosocial factors cause Crohn's disease.
  • Probably the most popular theory is that Crohn's disease is caused by the immune system overreacting to infection by a virus or bacterium.
  • Crohn's disease apparently is not caused by emotional distress.
  • Crohn's disease definitely runs in families. People who have Crohn's disease may have an inherited predisposition to abnormal immunologic response to one or more provoking factors.

For more information, read our full medical article on Crohn's disease.


CDC. What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

Farrel, R.J., et al. "Overview of the medical management of mild to moderate Crohn's disease in adults." UpToDate. Updated: Jul 28, 2016.<>