Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that results to inflammation of the lining of the GI tract that results to abdominal pain, fatigue, severe diarrhea, malnutrition and weight loss. Furthermore, the ensuing inflammation can affect various areas of the digestive tract in different individuals.
The inflammation due to Crohn’s disease often spreads into the deep layers of the affected bowel tissue. The condition is both painful and debilitating as well as causing dangerous complications.
What are the indicative symptoms of Crohn’s disease?
- Abdominal pain – at first, the pain is cramping and intermittent and the belly might be sore if touched. The pain can turn to a dull, continuous ache as the condition progresses.
- Diarrhea – episodes can occur 10-20 times in a day. The individual has to wake up at night and use the bathroom.
- Appetite loss
- Fever – in severe cases, fever can develop. If it is high, it indicates an infection is present such as an abscess.
- Weight loss
- Low red blood cells (anemia)
- Small-sized tears in the anus that come and go
Since Crohn’s disease involves the immune system, there are also other symptoms present aside from the GI tract such as eye issues, joint pain, skin rashes or liver disease.
When to seek medical care
Generally, a doctor should be consulted if there are persistent changes in the bowel habits or if any of these indications are present:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood-streaked stool
- Continuous episodes of diarrhea that do not respond to over-the-counter medications
- Unexplained weight loss
- Unexplained fever that lasts more than a day or two