Health A-Z

Medical Content Created by the Faculty of the Harvard Medical School


When to Call A Doctor

New or changing symptoms often mean that additional treatment is needed. People who have Crohn's disease should be in frequent contact with a doctor.

One serious complication is bowel obstruction. This occurs when the intestine becomes so narrowed that the digestive contents cannot pass through. Bowel obstruction causes vomiting or severe abdominal pain. It requires emergency treatment.

Other symptoms that require a doctor's immediate attention are:

  • Fever, which could indicate infection

  • Heavy bleeding from the rectum

  • Black, paste-like stools

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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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