New Delhi: Senior Congress leader and former Union finance minister P Chidambaram, who is currently in the custody of the Enforcement Directorate (ED) in the INX Media money laundering case, has been suffering from the chronic Crohn’s disease and needs immediate treatment at a super-speciality hospital, sources close to him said on Tuesday.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the sources said it would be good if Chidambaram was immediately referred to a super-speciality hospital for treatment, considering his poor health.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that may affect any segment of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. Symptoms often include abdominal pain, diarrhoea (which may be bloody if inflammation is severe), fever, and weight loss.

Bowel obstruction may also occur as a complication of chronic inflammation. Diagnosis is based on a number of findings including biopsy and appearance of the bowel wall, medical imaging and description of the disease.

Chidambaram on Monday was brought to the RML Hospital here in the morning and later referred to AIIMS after complaining of stomach ache and illness. He was discharged in the night.

When Chidambaram’s bail petition came up for hearing in the Supreme Court a few days ago, his lawyer Kapil Sibal informed the court that the Congress leader had lost five kg in Tihar Jail, where he had been lodged while in judicial custody.

“Chidambaram has lost weight from 73 kg to 68 kg,” Sibal told the court.

The former minister, who was arrested by the CBI in the same case on August 21, had been in jail since September 6 this year and is now in ED custody. He has been kept at the ED headquarters in Khan Market.

On October 24, Chidambaram requested a Delhi court to grant him two-day interim bail for getting treatment of his acute stomach pain in a hospital in Hyderabad. However, the court directed that he be taken to AIIMS immediately in case of any medical complication.

The Congress leader was taken to the hospital several times — on October 7, October 23, October 25 and October 28.