The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can vary over time and from person to person. However, recognizing the various symptoms and knowing when they occur is key to treating the condition. Symptoms can cause excruciating pain like flare-ups, but there are medical procedures that can help alleviate them. The IBD diet and the Crohn diet may not be the cause or direct cure for the disease, but they can make problems worse. Avoid foods that are restricted by your nutritionist or doctor.
Here are some ubiquitous symptoms in people with Crohn’s disease that occur in your digestive tract.
- Diarrhea – wet, loose or repeated stools.
- Abdominal pain, which can be accompanied by convulsive fever.
- Bleeding from the rectum.
- Loss of appetite and resulting weight loss.
The symptoms are not always limited to the gastrointestinal tract. Children with Crohn’s disease can cause problems with sexual development and hinder growth. Other affected parts of the body are eyes, skin, liver and joints. Fatigue is also common among patients.
Fistulas can also result from inflammation and damage to the intestine. A fistula is an unusual passage that connects two body cavities like the rectum and vagina, or a body cavity with the skin like the rectum outside the body. This unnecessary fistula can result from swelling (a secretion pocket in the body). The abscess can be tirelessly filled with body fluids such as intestines or urine, which can hinder the healing process. In due course, the fistula disintegrates in the skin, another body cavity or in an organ. Fistulas are more common in Crohn’s disease than in ulcerative colitis. About 30% of people with Crohn’s disease develop fistulas.
Cracks can form in the lining of the anus, which can cause blood flow and pain, especially during bowel movements. An anal fissure is a small tear in the inner layer of the anus that can be both painful and uncomfortable.
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease can range from severe to mild. Patients with Crohn’s disease go through active stages of relapse when symptoms become more apparent. These stages can be accompanied by a period of remission and the symptoms can improve or disappear.