Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) typically located in the small intestine and colon. Inflammation caused by Crohn’s is not always visually present. Those diagnosed with this disease will go through periods of flare-ups (when symptoms are present) and remission (when symptoms are absent).
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease are only present when the IBD is active. Often they come on gradually, but it is possible for symptoms to develop suddenly. The severity and variety of symptoms are different for each person, but can include any of the following:
Less common symptoms include:
In addition to its direct symptoms, Crohn’s disease has been known to cause other health complications.
Because Crohn’s affects an individual’s ability to digest and absorb food, people with Crohn’s may be malnourished or develop anemia or vitamin B12 deficiencies.
The chronic inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease has been known to cause ulcers and intestinal bleeding in the digestive tract. In extreme cases, these ulcers can expand to fistulas, holes in the intestinal wall that create abnormal connections between organs.