Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease
The most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease are abdominal pain and diarrhea. Other signs of inflammation frequently are present including fever and abdominal tenderness. Because symptoms can be worsened by eating, the intake of food is reduced, and this leads to loss of weight, and, less commonly, nutritional deficiencies. Slow continuous loss of blood into the intestine that may not even be recognizable in the stool can lead to iron deficiency anemia.
Complications of Crohn’s Disease
Several complications of Crohn’s disease have already been mentioned, including nutritional deficiencies, loss of weight, anemia, growth retardation, and delayed puberty. Two more serious complications also mentioned previously are strictures or narrowing of the intestine due to scarring and the formation of fistulas. Massive intestinal bleeding and perforation are unusual.
Other Complications of Crohn’s Disease
There are also extraintestinal manifestations of Crohn’s disease, some of which may be debilitating. These include arthritis, inflammation of the eye that can impair vision, skin diseases that vary from mild (erythema nodosum) to severe (pyoderma gangrenosum) gallstones, and loss of bone due to nutritional deficiencies. Most of these manifestations are believed to be due to inflammation that is occurring outside of the intestine.