8 Common Complications of Crohn’s Disease


Crohn’s disease is primarily a disease of the digestive system but many patients will also suffer from complications that can affect the gut such as fistulas, strictures, and perforations. However, Crohn’s disease complications are not just confined to the gastrointestinal system, they can affect other areas of the body according to Crohn’s and Colitis UK and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.

Anemia refers to a lower than normal level of red blood cells which can cause patients to suffer from headaches and shortness of breath, weakness, dizziness, and fatigue.

Liver Inflammation 
Liver inflammation may occur in Crohn’s disease although this is usually fairly mild and only 5 percent of Crohn’s patients go on to develop liver disease.

Skin Problems
Blisters and ulcers may appear on the skin and some patients may experience red swellings on their legs.

Mouth Ulcers
Mouth ulcers are a common complication connected to Crohn’s disease.

MORE: What is microscopic colitis?

Eye Problems
Around 10 percent of Crohn’s patients will suffer from eye problems, including dry eyes and inflammation.

Weaker Bones
One- to two-thirds of Crohn’s disease patients will have lower than normal bone density which could lead to osteoporosis.

Blood Clots
Blood clots are a dangerous complication of Crohn’s disease and can lead to deep vein thrombosis. It’s estimated that people with active Crohn’s disease are 16 times more likely to develop blood clots than those who don’t suffer from the disease. (Source: WebMD)

Joint Pain
Inflammation of the joints is a common complication that affects around a third of Crohn’s disease patients. The pain usually occurs in the wrists and elbows and the knees and ankles.

MORE: What it’s like living with inflammatory bowel disease

IBD News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.

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