Skip to content

Crohn's Disease Health Center

Font Size

Crohn's Disease - Symptoms

The main symptoms of Crohn's disease include:

  • Belly pain. The pain often is described as cramping and intermittent, and the belly may be sore when touched. Belly pain may turn to a dull, constant ache as the condition gets worse.
  • Diarrhea. Some people may have diarrhea 10 to 20 times a day. They may wake up at night and need to go to the bathroom. Crohn's disease may cause blood in stools, but not always.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Fever. In severe cases, fever or other symptoms that affect the entire body may develop. A high fever may mean that you have an infection, such as an abscess.
  • Weight loss. Ongoing symptoms, such as diarrhea, can lead to weight loss.
  • Too few red blood cells (anemia). Some people with Crohn's disease develop anemia because of low iron levels caused by bloody stools or the intestinal inflammation itself.
  • Small tears in the anus (anal fissures) that may go away, but come back again.

Because Crohn's disease involves the immune system, you also may have symptoms outside the digestive tract. These may include joint pain, eye problems, a skin rash, or liver disease.

Recommended Related to Crohn's Disease

Drugs That Calm Crohn's Inflammation

When you have Crohn's disease, you have two main goals: Prevent flare-ups and keep them away for good. As a first step, your doctor may start you on drugs that curb inflammation. Although they aren't a cure, they can help you feel much better. Inflammation in the intestines causes symptoms like stomach pain and diarrhea. Anti-inflammatory drugs ease those symptoms and may even keep them away for years. Your doctor will help you decide which one is best for you based on your symptoms.

Read the Drugs That Calm Crohn's Inflammation article > >

Other conditions with symptoms similar to Crohn's disease include diverticulitis and ulcerative colitis.

    This information is produced and provided by the National Cancer Institute (NCI). The information in this topic may have changed since it was written. For the most current information, contact the National Cancer Institute via the Internet web site at http:// cancer .gov or call 1-800-4-CANCER.

    WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

    Last Updated: November 14, 2014
    This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
    Next Article:

    Today on WebMD

    butter curls
    Foods to avoid.
    woman with pains in abdomen
    Get personalized tips.
    woman in restaurant
    Tips for staying active.
    Woman suffering from IBD
    Learn about Crohn’s, colitis, and more.
    Treatment Options For Crohns Disease
    butter curls
    crohns disease healthcheck
    capsules in hand
    Trigger Foods To Avoid With Crohns
    Exercising When You Have A GI Disorder
    Newly Diagnosed With Crohns Steps To Take
    When Surgery Might Be Required For Crohns