Can Crohn's Cause Constipation?

  • Medical Author:
    Dennis Lee, MD

    Dr. Lee was born in Shanghai, China, and received his college and medical training in the United States. He is fluent in English and three Chinese dialects. He graduated with chemistry departmental honors from Harvey Mudd College. He was appointed president of AOA society at UCLA School of Medicine. He underwent internal medicine residency and gastroenterology fellowship training at Cedars Sinai Medical Center.

  • Medical Editor: Jay W. Marks, MD
    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD

    Jay W. Marks, MD, is a board-certified internist and gastroenterologist. He graduated from Yale University School of Medicine and trained in internal medicine and gastroenterology at UCLA/Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles.

Ask the experts

Can Crohn's disease be manifested with constipation and flatulence (farting)? My daughter has been on Zelnorm (tegaserod) for constipation for months and it is not working and she experiences extreme bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation with some diarrhea and is miserable.

Doctor's response

Extreme bloating, abdominal pain, and constipation with some diarrhea are unusual symptoms of Crohn's disease.

Common symptoms of Crohn's disease include:

Less common symptoms include:

Some patients with Crohn's disease also develop symptoms outside of the gastrointestinal tract; these symptoms include:

Furthermore, patients with Crohn's disease also can develop symptoms related to small bowel bacterial overgrowth. These symptoms include:

  • excess gas,
  • abdominal bloating, and
  • sometimes worsening of diarrhea.

If your daughter is not responding to the medications prescribed by her doctor, it is important to let the doctor know, so that he/she can continue efforts to arrive at a firm diagnosis and plan of treatment.

Medically reviewed by John A. Daller, MD; American Board of Surgery with subspecialty certification in surgical critical care


"Clinical manifestations, diagnosis and prognosis of Crohn disease in adults"

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Reviewed on 6/15/2017