Crohn's Disease - Symptoms

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The symptoms of Crohn's disease can vary greatly from patient to patient. What were your symptoms at the onset of your disease?

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What are the symptoms of Crohn's disease?

Common symptoms of Crohn's disease include abdominal pain, diarrhea, and weight loss. Less common symptoms include poor appetite, fever, night sweats, rectal pain, and occasionally rectal bleeding. The symptoms of Crohn's disease are dependent on the location, the extent, and the severity of the inflammation. The different subtypes of Crohn's disease and their symptoms are:

  1. Crohn's colitis is inflammation that is confined to the colon. Abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea are the common symptoms. Anal fistulae and peri-rectal abscesses also can occur.
  2. Crohn's enteritis refers to inflammation confined to the small intestine (the first part, called the jejunum or the second part, called the ileum). Involvement of the ileum alone is referred to as Crohn's ileitis. Abdominal pain and diarrhea are the common symptoms. Obstruction of the small intestine also can occur.
  3. Crohn's terminal ileitis is inflammation that affects only the very end of the small intestine (terminal ileum), the part of the small intestine closest to the colon. Abdominal pain and diarrhea are the common symptoms. Small intestinal obstruction also can occur.
  4. Crohn's entero-colitis and ileo-colitis are terms to describe inflammation that involve both the small intestine and the colon. Bloody diarrhea and abdominal pain are the common symptoms. Small intestinal obstruction also can occur.

Crohn's terminal ileitis and ileo-colitis are the most common types of Crohn's disease. (Ulcerative colitis frequently involves only the rectum or rectum and sigmoid colon at the distal end of the colon. These are called ulcerative proctitis and procto-sigmoiditis, respectively.)

Up to one-third of patients with Crohn's disease may have one or more of the following conditions involving the anal area:

  1. Swelling of the tissue of the anal sphincter, the muscle at the end of the colon that controls defecation.
  2. Development of ulcers and fissures (long ulcers) within the anal sphincter. These ulcers and fissures can cause bleeding and pain with defecation.
  3. Development of anal fistulae (abnormal tunnels) between the anus or rectum and the skin surrounding the anus). Mucous and pus may drain from the openings of the fistulae on the skin.
  4. Development of peri-rectal abscesses (collections of pus in the anal and rectal area). Peri-rectal abscesses can cause fever, pain and tenderness around the anus.
Return to Crohn's Disease

See what others are saying

Comment from: Mon, 7-12 Male (Caregiver) Published: April 11

My son, 11 years old, is diagnosed with Crohn's disease. He was anemic for 2 years. He did not grow at the same pace as his friends. He made excuses as to why he didn"t want to eat, and would eat only small amounts of food. Then the stomach pain started right side, with loose stools and also very thin stools. He looked pale and was tired and looked so thin and would not gain weight. Hope this helps others looking for answers. I wish we could have helped him sooner. Good luck with everyone"s journey!

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Comment from: Lisa P, 25-34 Female (Patient) Published: April 25

I started with constipation for 2 years with severe stabbing pain in lower left hip. Then I was alternating between diarrhea and constipation for 2 years, still with severe pain. I had a year of diarrhea, 20 times a day, until my bowel perforated and I had emergency surgery. I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease after surgery. I also have sacroiliitis.

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