Common Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

2 minute read

By Topic Insight Staff

Crohn’s disease is a chronic, inflammatory condition. If you or someone you love suffers from Crohn’s, understanding the disease can be critical. Start a search today to learn more about Crohn’s disease symptoms and the treatments to manage it.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s disease is a painful inflammatory condition that is caused by a combination of factors, including bacterial, environmental, immunological, and genetic.1 With this disease, the affected person’s immune system attacks the intestines. It was previously thought of as an autoimmune disease, but recent research has reclassified it as a state of immune deficiency.

1. Abdominal Pain

Abdominal pain may be one of the first symptoms of Crohn’s disease. As the intestines become inflamed and irritated, the bowels send pain signals to the brain. This inflammation and irritation can affect how food moves through the digestive tract, which causes pain from the cramping of the muscles in the digestive system, according to Dr. Axe.2

2. Abdominal Cramping

In patients with severe Crohn’s disease, painful cramping may be common. As the disease progresses, scar tissue can form around the intestines. As the person eats and the intestines shift, the scar tissue can pull, causing incredibly painful cramping. The person may also feel nauseated and vomit because of the pain. This can make a Crohn’s sufferer lose the desire to eat, as they become violently ill when they do.

3. Diarrhea

When Crohn’s disease affects the intestines, it causes them to pump out water and electrolytes. This mixes with stool, causing diarrhea. If the large intestine is affected, diarrhea may be small in quantity but affect the sufferer numerous times a day.3 If the small intestine is affected, diarrhea may be very large in quantity but affect the sufferer less frequently.

4. Bloody Stools

Bloody stools are a disconcerting symptom of Crohn’s disease. As the inflammation of the bowels cause ulcers (open sores) in the intestines, blood may mix with the stool. If the blood comes from high in the GI tract, the stool may appear black in color.

5. Frequent Defecation

With chronic diarrhea, a Crohn’s disease sufferer may experience very frequent defecation. It may be upwards of 20 times per day, even waking the person up at night. Very frequent defecation brings a host of related conditions. Hemorrhoids are common, and prolonged Crohn’s attacks can bring on fecal incontinence.

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