Symptoms of Crohn's disease include signs of inflammation of the digestive tract, such as persistent diarrhea, constipation, bleeding from the rectum, pain and cramping in the abdomen, and the immediate need to have a bowel movement, according to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. Anemia, anal fissures that come and go, joint pain, rashes, eye problems and liver disease are also symptoms, notes WebMD.
Crohn's disease is a type of irritable bowel disease (IBD) and can present with general symptoms of IBD such as fever, night sweats, loss of appetite, low energy, fatigue and missed periods, according to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. The Foundation states that symptoms may not always be present, as the disease can go into remission. There are several different types of Crohn's disease depending on the part of the digestive tract affected, and each type has a set of symptoms associated with it.
The most commonly affected areas of the body are the colon and the last part of the small intestine, according to Mayo Clinic. Symptoms vary in severity and can develop gradually over time or appear suddenly. Delayed growth or delayed puberty in children is also a symptom of Crohn's disease.
Due to the ulcers and inflammation that Crohn's disease causes in the intestines, the body does not adequately absorb the nutrients in food, and patients are susceptible to vitamin and mineral deficiencies, explains WebMD. Crohn?s disease also increases the risk of anemia if there is blood loss in the stools, and kidney stones and gallstones are often associated with this inflammatory bowel disease. If scar tissue forms in the intestines due to prolonged periods of inflammation, bowel obstructions and strictures can occur that often require surgical treatment. Fistulas may form between the intestines and other organs or between intestines and the skin if the ulcers break through the intestinal walls, sometimes resulting in severe infections.
While Crohn?s disease most often affects the last part of the small intestine and the first part of the large intestine, it can occur in any area of the digestive tract, notes WebMD. When Crohn's disease has been present in the rectum and anus for eight years or more, the risk of cancer increases. Crohn?s disease is a chronic condition that produces mild symptoms in some patients and life-threatening symptoms and complications in others.