How Does Crohn’s Disease Affect Body

Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune, chronic disorder that impacts the person’s gastrointestinal tract (GI) and severely affects other body parts. Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) type, an intestinal disorder that causes swollen, irritated tissues in the digestive tract. Ulcerative Colitis also belongs to the same group of conditions,​ but UC affects only the colon, while Crohn’s includes the entire digestive tract.

When you have Crohn’s, you may experience various problems in your digestive system, including diarrhea, stomach pain, and urgent bowel movements. Inflammation causes severe problems in other areas of the body. From head to toe, the person may experience various symptoms, including:

  • Headache
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Stress
  • Red eyes
  • Trouble sleeping
  • Mouth sores
  • Dizziness
  • Fatigue
  • Inflammation
  • Chest pain
  • Abdominal pain
  • Shortness of breath
  • Weakness
  • Blocked bowel
  • Ulcers
  • Fistulas
  • Diarrhea
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Pale skin
  • Joint pain
  • Weight loss
  • Red bumps
  • Cold hands and feet

Let us understand in detail how it affects the body’s various systems.

Digestive System

The disease mostly attacks the lower part of the small intestine, called the ileum. As the symptoms get worse, the thick scar tissue blocks the entire bowel. If such a situation occurs, the person may undergo surgery to remove that part of the bowel. The person may experience ulcers anywhere in the GI tract. Many of them develop anal fissures and fistulas, causing bleeding, pain, and itchiness in the anal canal. People with Crohn’s develops a risk of colon cancer. 

Cardiovascular System

A person with Crohn’s may suffer from anemia due to poor iron absorption. This may increase the risk of heart problems, including fast or irregular heartbeats. If this is not treated on time, it may become one of the reasons for heart failure. Pregnant women who are iron deficient may have a premature birth or give birth to an underweight baby. Anemia can also interrupt the growth and development of the child. 

Skeletal System

The disease does not directly cause the weakening of bones, but patients may experience related issues. Few people with IBD experience arthralgia (pain in the joints). However, there is no inflammation or joint damage involved in the joint pain. Many of them suffer from arthritis, which is caused by inflammation. Only a doctor can confirm whether your arthritis is associated with Crohn’s or not.

Central Nervous System (Eyes)

A few people may also experience eye problems. The most common one is inflammation in the middle layer of the eye wall called uveitis. The person may experience various symptoms, including pain in the eyes, blurry vision, redness, or light sensitivity. These symptoms get improved when Crohn’s disease is under control.  

Integumentary System (Skin)

Many people may experience erythema nodosum or pyoderma gangrenosum on the arms, shins, or ankles, but the chances are very low. Erythema nodosum is the appearance of red bumps on the skin, whereas pyoderma gangrenosum is when the person develops pus and deep ulcers on the skin. There is a slight risk of developing these two diseases in a person with Crohn’s, but both of them get clear along with other flare-up symptoms. . Visit icare4u for more information.