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Crohn's disease

  • Alternative Names

    Inflammatory bowel disease - Crohn's disease; Regional enteritis; Ileitis; Granulomatous ileocolitis; IBD- Crohn's disease


    Symptoms depend on what part of the gastrointestinal tract is affected. Symptoms range from mild to severe, and can come and go with periods of flare-ups.

    The main symptoms of Crohn's disease are:

    • Crampy abdominal (belly area) pain
    • Fever
    • Fatigue
    • Loss of appetite
    • Pain with passing stool (tenesmus)
    • Persistent, watery diarrhea
    • Unintentional weight loss

    Other symptoms may include:

    • Constipation
    • Eye inflammation
    • Fistulas (usually around the rectal area, may cause draining of pus, mucus, or stools)
    • Joint pain
    • Liver inflammation
    • Mouth ulcers
    • Rectal bleeding and bloody stools
    • Skin lumps or sores (ulcers)
    • Swollen gums

    Signs and tests

    A physical examination may reveal an abdominal mass or tenderness, skin rash, swollen joints, or mouth ulcers. Tests to diagnose Crohn's disease include:

    • Barium enema
    • Colonoscopy
    • Computed tomography (CT scan) of the abdomen
    • Endoscopy, including capsule endoscopy
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of the abdomen
    • Sigmoidoscopy
    • Enteroscopy
    • Upper GI series

    A stool culture may be done to rule out other possible causes of the symptoms.

    This disease may also alter the results of the following tests:

    • Albumin
    • C-reactive protein
    • Erythrocyte sedimentation rate
    • Fecal fat
    • Hemoglobin
    • Liver function tests
    • White blood cell count