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Crohn’s Disease Symptoms

The symptoms of Crohn’s disease will vary from case to case depending on the area of the digestive tract that is most affected. The inflammation that Crohn’s disease causes will range from mild to severe. Crohn’s symptoms can also flare rather unexpectedly, or they can develop very slowly.

Woman trying to deal with her Crohn's disease symptoms

Crohn’s disease is a complex illness which alternates between periods of minute disease activity or remission and periods where symptoms can be completely debilitating. The most common symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Presence of blood in the stool
  • Loss of appetite and unexplained weight loss
  • Ulcers

Diarrhea

When Crohn’s disease causes the intestines to become inflamed, cells located in the affected intestine begin to expel excess levels of salt and water. The patient’s colon is not designed to contain all of this extra fluid, so it causes diarrhea. Also, the intestinal cramping produces even looser stool. Diarrhea is the most common symptom associated with Crohn’s disease.

Abdominal Pain and Cramping

As mentioned earlier, this disease can cause a severe level of inflammation in the intestines. Eventually, the bowels can become swollen and thick with scar tissue. This has a significant impact on how food is able to move through the digestive tract, which leads to cramps and sometimes excruciating abdominal pain. If you have a moderate case of Crohn’s, then this should not be more than a mild discomfort. On the other hand, severe cases can lead to additional nausea and vomiting.

Presence of Blood in Stool

When food leaves the stomach and moves through the digestive tract, it can cause minor tearing in tissue that is really inflamed. This leads to bleeding in the intestine, though in some cases it can occur on its own. After a bowel movement, Crohn’s disease patients may notice a couple of bright red drops of blood in toilet bowel or some blood mixed in with the feces. It is also possible to be bleeding but never see any blood in the toilet, something which is referred to as occult blood.

Loss of Appetite and Unexplained Weight Loss

A lot of people who are living with Crohn’s disease may find that their appetite is not what it once was. This is not hard to explain, as abdominal pain and cramping caused by this disease can make it very difficult to eat anything at all. Additionally, the inflammation can make it harder for the body to adequately digest food that is eaten, leading to a loss of weight and essential nutrients.

Ulcers

Ulcers are another symptom that are widely associated with diagnosed cases of Crohn’s disease. An ulcer is a tiny sore that can form on the surface of the intestine, but these can become much larger and painful if left untreated. Since Crohn’s can affect any part of the human digestive system, some patients develop ulcers in their mouths as a result of this disease.

More indications of Crohn’s Disease

Depending on the severity of the patient’s medical condition, they could also experience any of these accompanying symptoms:

  • Fever
  • Arthritis
  • Fatigue
  • Skin Disorders
  • Inflammation of the eye, liver, or bile ducts
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Delayed sexual development or growth deficiencies in children with Crohn’s

If you or a loved one has been experiencing any of these symptoms, or you have been experiencing persistent changes in your bowel habits, then please consult your primary health care provider as soon as possible. Crohn’s disease can be managed with the appropriate treatments, but not if it is ignored.