What are the complications of Crohn’s disease?

Complications of Crohn’s disease can include the following:

  • Intestinal obstruction: Crohn’s disease can thicken the wall of the intestines. Over time, the thickened areas of the intestines can narrow, which can block the intestines. A partial or complete intestinal obstruction, also called a bowel blockage, can block the movement of food or stool through the intestines.
  • Fistulas: In Crohn’s disease, inflammation can go through the wall of the intestines and create tunnels, or fistulas. Fistulas are abnormal passages between two organs, or between an organ and the outside of the body. Fistulas may become infected.
  • Abscesses: Inflammation that goes through the wall of the intestines can also lead to abscesses. Abscesses are painful, swollen, pus-filled pockets of infection.
  • Anal fissures: Anal fissures are small tears in the anus that may cause itching, pain, or bleeding.
  • Ulcers: Inflammation anywhere along the digestive tract can lead to ulcers or open sores in the mouth, intestines, anus, or perineum.
  • Malnutrition: Malnutrition develops when the body does not get the right amount of vitamins, minerals, and nutrients it needs to maintain healthy tissues and organ function.
  • Inflammation in other areas of the body: Inflammation in the joints, eyes, and skin may be present.

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