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Crohn's Disease - When To Call a Doctor

Call a doctor right away if you have been diagnosed with Crohn's disease and you have one or more of the following:

  • Fever or shaking chills
  • Lightheadedness, passing out, or rapid heart rate
  • Stools that are almost always bloody
  • Severe dehydration
  • Severe belly pain or severe pain and bloating
  • Evidence of pus draining from the area around the anus, or pain and swelling in the anal area
  • Repeated vomiting
  • Not passing any stools or gas

If you have any of these symptoms and you have been diagnosed with Crohn's disease, your condition may have become much worse. Some of these symptoms also may be signs of toxic megacolon. This is a rare complication of Crohn's disease that requires emergency treatment. Untreated toxic megacolon can cause the colon to leak or rupture, which can be fatal.

Recommended Related to Crohn's Disease

My WebMD: A College Student Controls Her Crohn's

My life with Crohn's has not been easy. I remember lying in my hospital bed watching a commercial for iced tea. Everyone was running around in the sunshine listening to happy, uplifting music. Never before had I been so jealous of people doing something so simple. I was 16 and it was 2006, five years after I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease. I had an intestinal blockage and was hospitalized for five days while hooked up to a nasogastric (NG) tube that sucked out bile that was blocking my small...

Read the My WebMD: A College Student Controls Her Crohn's article > >

People who have Crohn's disease usually know their normal pattern of symptoms. Call your doctor if there is a change in your usual symptoms or if:

  • Your symptoms become significantly worse than usual.
  • You have diarrhea that lasts for more than 2 weeks.
  • You have lost weight.

Who to see

The following doctors can diagnose most cases of Crohn's disease:

To help you manage Crohn's disease, you will probably be referred to a gastroenterologist.

To be evaluated for surgery, you may be referred to a:

To prepare for your appointment, see the topic Making the Most of Your Appointment.

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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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