Crohn's disease is a form of gastrointestinal disease that can be very difficult to diagnose. Generally, it is far more problematic for doctors and surgeons than the other form of major inflammatory bowel disease, which is ulcerative colitis. The problem is that this particular disease can be located within almost any part of the gastrointestinal tract, which means that you could experience symptoms all the way from the mouth to the anus.
There are a wide range of different types of this disease, and the type that you have is likely to impact the range of symptoms that you experience. However, there are some common symptoms that remain similar among people with all forms of the disease, such as weight loss, lack of energy, abdominal pain and cramps, and diarrhea.
Symptoms of Crohn's Disease in the Colon and Ileum:
If this disease is located around the colon, it is known as Crohn's colitis, and the symptoms can differ according to the exact location of the disease. For instance, if the condition occurs on the right side of the colon, the result can be diarrhea and cramps. On the other hand, if it appears on the left side of the colon, it can lead to blood in the stool.
Someone with this disease in the ileum and colon may experience the symptoms associated with either disease or both, because Crohn's disease in the ileum can flare up when the colon disease is in remission, and so on.
Symptoms in the Small Intestine:
For those who experience Crohn's disease in the small intestine, these often include, but aren't limited to diarrhea, cramps, and weight loss. In some cases, people with this form of the disease will experience constipation instead of diarrhea, and pain in this area can be so severe that people might actually avoid eating.
Symptoms in the Duodenum or Stomach:
The duodenum is the part of the small of intestine that is closest to the stomach. Many people who suffer with this disease in the duodenum or stomach do not experience any symptoms at all. If symptoms do occur for these individuals, they will usually happen in the upper part of the abdomen following or during a meal. A small percentage of people with this condition will experience vomiting, nausea, or both. Weight loss is also a common symptom for people with this part of the condition, as many people avoid eating to prevent pain.
Symptoms of Crohn's Disease in the Mouth, Esophagus and Appendix:
Finally, the types of this disease which take place in the esophagus, appendix, and mouth are all very rare forms of the disease. If the disease is found in the appendix, it can mimic an appendicitis, and can sometimes be present without the appearance of unique symptoms.
Some people find that this disease in the esophagus leads to pain behind the breastbone which worsens during swallowing, and if the esophagus is narrowed as a result of scarring, then people with this disease might find that they have trouble swallowing, or think that food has become stuck along the way to their stomach.