Initial Crohn’s Disease symptoms are difficult to distinguish from other intestinal problems. Abdominal pain often occurs, especially in the lower right portion of the abdomen. Often, the pain is first mistaken for appendicitis. Abdominal cramps, spasms and diarrhea may also occur. Malnutrition and loss of appetite are also common symptoms; some may experience sudden weight loss. Not all people experience the same symptoms, however. For instance, some might not experience diarrhea, and some patients don’t experience pain as a prominent symptom in the early stages of the disease.
Because Crohn’s Disease often leads to malnutrition, which hinders the normal growth processes, children with the condition may experience developmental delays, both physically and mentally.
Other Crohn’s Disease Symptoms. These symptoms become more common as the disease progresses, but can vary widely from individual to individual:
skin lesions or sores
blood in your feces
severe abdominal pain
sudden changes in bowel movements
Crohn’s Disease Complications.
Intestinal blockage is the most common complication. Chronic inflammation and the results in scarring, which causes intestinal passages to narrow. If an obstruction forms, intestinal contents back up, resulting in constipation, vomiting and pain. In rare instances the intestinal wall may rupture, allowing bacteria from the intestine to infect other organs causing sepsis, the bacterial infection of an organ or the bloodstream.
Sores and ulcers caused by inflammation also occur. If the ulcer deepens and penetrates the intestinal wall itself, a fistula is formed. A fistula is an abnormal connection between two organs or body structures, which are not normally connected. A fistula often occurs in the colon or rectum, and may cause intestinal contents to seep into the bladder, the vagina or even drain through the skin.
Fistulas are common causes of sepsis in Crohn’s Disease. In some cases, sepsis can be life threatening.
Infections of the intestine may also abscess, resulting in a pocket of infection that is sealed off from the rest of the intestine. An abscess presents with fever and pain, and often a lump can be felt in the intestines.
Crohn’s can cause a variety of secondary complications, including:
inflammation of the eyes