Crohn’s disease symptoms: Early signs and complications

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Crohn’s disease symptoms: Early signs and complications

Cramping, stomach pain, and weight loss are some of the signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease.

Crohn’s disease is a long-term inflammatory disease of the digestive tract, and its symptoms tend to relate to the gut and digestion. These symptoms often appear gradually and can get worse over time.

An estimated 565,000 people in the United States have Crohn’s disease. The disease is difficult to diagnose, and its exact cause remains unknown. Experts believe that an autoimmune reaction, in which the body’s immune cells attack healthy cells in the body, may be a primary cause of the condition.

In this article, we examine the signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease and explain how the symptoms can differ depending on the part of the gut that the disease affects. We also take a look at possible complications and other conditions that can cause similar symptoms to Crohn’s disease.

Signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is most likely to present in people between the ages of 20 and 29. However, around one-sixth of people develop symptoms before the age of 15, and the disease can affect people of any age.

According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK), the most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are:

  • diarrhea
  • unexplained weight loss
  • stomach pain or cramping

Other early signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:

  • loss of appetite
  • fever
  • tiredness
  • nausea
  • eye pain or redness
  • aching or painful joints
  • bloody stool
  • tender, red bumps on the skin

People with Crohn’s disease may find that their symptoms worsen with stress or after eating certain foods.

Read on: Crohn's disease symptoms: Early signs and complications

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