Ulceration In The Digestive TractCrohn's disease causes deep ulceration in the walls of the digestive tract. Diseased sections alternate with healthy tissue, causing what is often described as a "cobblestone" appearance.
The ulcers tend to appear in the same section of the digestive tract each time the condition flares up, but the inflammation could spread, especially after the diseased tissue is removed during surgery.
Abdominal Pain And CrampingPain from Crohn's disease may feel like cramps, aches, or sharp pains in the abdomen. In Crohn's disease, pain tends to be below the belly button and on the lower right side of the abdomen. Most cases of Crohn's disease involve the last part of the small intestine (the ileum), which is located in the lower right abdominal quadrant and along the mid-belly.
Many other conditions can also cause abdominal pain, so this symptom alone is not necessarily useful to diagnosing Crohn's disease.
Blood In The StoolInflammation in the digestive tract from Crohn's disease can lead to bleeding, which may be seen as blood passed in the stool. With Crohn's disease, the blood may be within the stool and often appears thick and dark.
DiarrheaDiarrhea is a common symptom of Crohn's disease. When the digestive tract, and especially the small intestine, is inflamed, it can result in loose stools, dehydration or nutritional deficiencies.
FeverCrohn's disease is an inflammatory disease, which means that the body is fighting the inflammation in the digestive tract. When the disease is actively flaring, it could cause a fever, which may be either high- or low-grade. Fevers can also lead to night sweats and interrupted sleep.
Lack of AppetiteA loss of appetite is common with Crohn's disease, and may ultimately lead to other signs and symptoms, such as weight loss and fatigue.
Mucus In The StoolMucus may be seen in the stool of people with Crohn's disease, but it is less common than it is in people who have ulcerative colitis.
The Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. "What is Crohn’s Disease?." CCFA.org 2012. 28 Aug 2012.
The National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. "Crohn's Disease." National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases Feb 2006. 17 Apr 2010.