Crohn’s disease is a chronic and painful inflammatory condition affecting around 700,000 Americans. It is caused by a combination of bacterial, environmental, immunological, and genetic factors. While previously thought of as an autoimmune disease, recent research has reclassified it as a state of immune deficiency.
There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease, but various treatments are available to control inflammation and prevent relapse of severe symptoms. Given how the symptoms of Crohn’s disease can often be misdiagnosed, it’s helpful to research this information online before consulting a doctor.
20 Common Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
Abdominal Pain: The intestines send pain signals to the brain when inflamed and irritated, causing cramps in the digestive system.
Abdominal Cramping: Scar tissue that forms around the intestines can pull and cause severe cramping.
Diarrhea: Crohn’s disease affects the intestines and causes them to pump out water and electrolytes, leading to frequent diarrhea.
Bloody Stools: Inflammation can cause ulcers in the intestines, leading to blood mixing with stool.
Frequent Defecation: Chronic diarrhea causes frequent defecation, leading to hemorrhoids and fecal incontinence.
Weight Loss: Nutrient malabsorption caused by Crohn’s disease can cause weight loss.
Arthritis: A higher risk of joint disease affecting the spinal column or the peripheral joints is seen in people with Crohn’s disease.
Eye Pain: Vision issues, including inflammation, can cause episcleritis or uveitis in Crohn’s disease patients.
Gallstones: When Crohn’s disease affects the ileum, it can cause distress and eventually gallstones.
Skin Issues: Blood clots and ulcers can form on the skin, causing erythema nodosum, pyoderma gangrenosum, and psoriasis.
Nausea and Vomiting: Swelling inside the GI tract can cause vomiting, acid reflux, and reduced appetite.
Fever: People with Crohn’s disease may experience low-grade fever due to inflammation or infection.
Fatigue: Chronic inflammation can lead to fatigue, along with diarrhea causing nutrient absorption issues.
Perianal Disease: Fistulas, tags, abscesses, or stenoses around the anus can cause pain, itching, bleeding, discharge, and diarrhea.
Osteoporosis: People with Crohn’s disease are at a higher risk of developing osteoporosis due to chronic inflammation and vitamin D deficiency.
Mouth Sores: Open sores in the stomach, esophagus, mouth, and anus can cause a burning sensation and pain.
Migraine: Inflammation can also cause migraines in people with Crohn’s disease.
Anemia: Inflammation can cause a lack of oxygen throughout the body, leading to fatigue, breathlessness, and more.
Abdominal Swelling: Abdominal swelling can occur due to chronic inflammation.
Developmental Delays: People who develop Crohn’s disease during childhood may experience developmental delays due to nutrient absorption and fluid loss issues.
Crohn’s Disease Tests
To diagnose Crohn’s disease, your doctor may need to perform a variety of tests, including:
- Blood tests
- Stool samples
- CT scan
- MRI scan
- Capsule endoscopy
- Balloon-assisted enteroscopy
There is no single test to diagnose Crohn’s disease, but a combination of tests will help confirm the diagnosis.
Find Answers Today!
Crohn’s disease is a complex condition that can cause a wide range of symptoms affecting not only the gastrointestinal system but also other parts of the body. While there is no known cure for the disease, there are various treatments available to help control inflammation and prevent relapse of severe symptoms.
It is important to seek medical attention if you experience any of the common symptoms of Crohn’s disease, such as abdominal pain, frequent diarrhea, and fatigue. By working closely with your healthcare provider and following a treatment plan, you can manage your symptoms and maintain a good quality of life.