Health A-Z

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Some people with Crohn's disease have only occasional cramps, or diarrhea. Their symptoms are so mild they do not seek medical attention.

However, most people with Crohn's disease have more bothersome symptoms. They may experience long stretches of time with no symptoms. But these are interrupted by flare-ups of symptoms.

When Crohn's disease first begins, or during a flare-up, you might experience:

  • Abdominal pain, usually at or below the navel. It is typically worse after meals.

  • Diarrhea that may contain blood

  • Sores around the anus

  • Drainage of pus or mucus from the anus or anal area

  • Pain when you have a bowel movement

  • Mouth sores

  • Loss of appetite

  • Joint pains or back pain

  • Pain or vision changes in one or both eyes

  • Weight loss despite eating a normal-calorie diet

  • Fever

  • Weakness or fatigue

  • Stunted growth and delayed puberty in children

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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