Guide to Crohn’s Disease
What Is It?
This type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) causes swelling or irritation in the lining of your digestive tract. That’s a series of hollow organs that form a tube from your mouth to your anus. Crohn’s mostly affects the small intestine and the beginning of the large intestine. But it also can show up in any part of the digestive tract. This sets it apart from other IBDs.
What Are the Symptoms?
Because this disease is chronic, meaning it affects you for a long time, symptoms can come and go. They might strike without warning. You’ll notice:
- Frequent bouts of diarrhea that over-the-counter drugs don’t help
- Blood in your poop or in the toilet
- Feeling like you need to go but can’t
- Intense cramps or stomach pain with nausea and vomiting
- Ongoing fever or weight loss you can’t explain
Can It Affect Other Body Parts?
Yes. Symptoms might appear outside your intestines, such as:
- Painful mouth ulcers like canker sores
- Swelling in your eyes or under your skin
- Arthritis-like stiffness in your joints or spine
- Fissures — small tears — in the anus