Crohn's Disease is sometimes difficult to identify, as the symptoms mimic many other gastrointestinal disorders. However, once you recognize an inflammatory bowel disease, specific testing can be completed to determine if Crohn's is an issue.
The primary symptom associated with Crohn's Disease is diarrhea. The inflammation of the intestines experienced as a result of the disorder causes excessive amounts of salt and water to be produced that the body can not reabsorb. The body, in turn, attempts to dispose of the excess fluid causing diarrhea. Intestinal contractions also contribute to this process. The severity of diarrhea will vary by individual, from mildly loose occurring slightly more frequently to extremely watery occurring multiple times a day.
Another sign of Crohn's is bleeding of the intestines, typically seen in the stool of the sufferer. This is caused by the swelling and inflammation of the intestinal wall, which becomes damaged as waste passes through the body. Depending on the severity, this can be of major concern, causing anemia and other complications. Ranging in color from bright red to darker shades, blood in one's stool should cause concern.
Abdominal pain and cramping are also common with Crohn's Disease, as inflammation worsens. The swelling itself can be painful; however, the passage of waste through inflamed channels causes more discomfort. The longer inflammation lasts, the walls of the intestinal tract become thick with scar tissue, which worsens that matter.
Crohn's sufferers also sometimes endure ulcers and sores as a result of the disease. Also caused as a result of inflammation, the intestines can develop abrasions that enlarge into ulcers. This correlates with abdominal pain and cramping as well. However, it can also lead to infection and other complications.
People that suffer from this disease are sometimes affected in unlikely areas of their life as well. When someone experiences digestive problems, they often lose their appetite and desire to consume food. This coupled with absorption problems, due to inflammation, may lead to malnutrition and weight loss.
Severe cases of Crohn's Disease also exhibit fever, fatigue, and other issues that do not relate to the intestines, such as arthritis or liver disorders. However, the intensity of symptoms experienced will vary greatly from person to person. While some will have severe side effects, others may have very few. Because this disease is a chronic disorder, symptoms may also disappear for extended periods of time, only to return unexpectedly.
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