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Return to Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Overview

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Digestive Diseases

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

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The most common symptoms of Crohn's disease are diarrhea and abdominal pain, usually on the left lower side of the abdomen. In more severe cases of Crohn's disease, the inflammation may cause stricturing (a narrowing of the intestines caused by excess scar tissue) and fistulas (inflammatory tunnels that burrow through the intestines to either the skin or the bladder).

Ulcerative colitis most often causes bloody diarrhea that doesn't stop, abdominal cramps, and rectal bleeding (bleeding from the very end of the GI tract, right before the anus).

Both conditions can cause bleeding in the GI tract, which may lead to anemia (a loss of red blood cells resulting in extreme tiredness or fatigue). Both conditions can also cause nausea, vomiting, fever, weight loss (because the intestines may not be able to absorb enough nutrients from food), joint pain, and skin problems.

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Gastroenterology and Hepatology, NewYork-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell
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