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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.

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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: May 16, 2013
    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.
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