Are hemorrhoids a sign of Crohn's disease

Crohn's Disease: First Signs & Symptoms

First signs

Crohn's disease often begins slowly. Those affected suffer from abdominal pain, gas and diarrhea. Initially, patients usually have 3-6 soft stools during the day and night. Many patients feel tired and exhausted.


In Crohn's disease, the lining of the digestive tract becomes inflamed. In contrast to ulcerative colitis, in which only the superficial layers of the mucous membrane become inflamed, the inflammatory process in Crohn's disease also spreads to the deeper layers of the intestinal wall. In addition to the intestinal wall, surrounding structures such as lymph nodes and the attachment of the intestine (mesentery) can also be affected. The disease can occur anywhere in the digestive tract (see table) from the mouth to the anus. The last part of the small intestine and the large intestine are most commonly affected. The disease does not spread continuously, but in sections: healthy sections of the intestine alternate with inflamed sections of the intestine.

The disease progresses in phases: phases with more or less severe symptoms alternate with phases in which the patient has no or only a few symptoms. In an acute episode, patients have abdominal pain and diarrhea. The abdominal pain is often greatest in the right lower abdomen. This is where the last section of the small intestine (terminal ileum) is located, which is inflamed in many patients. The pain can also occur in other regions of the abdomen. Some patients describe the pain as cramping. Sometimes they appear diffuse throughout the abdomen, sometimes punctiform.

While the diarrhea in ulcerative colitis is often bloody, in Crohn's disease it usually contains no blood (see also table with further differences). In addition, many patients experience nausea, vomiting, or loss of appetite. Some patients lose weight, have a fever, or have a high temperature. Deficiency symptoms (e.g. vitamin B12 deficiency) or digestive disorders can occur if the intestinal sections in which food is consumed are affected.



Frequency of infestation (%)







Small intestine (jejunum, ileum)


Last loop of the small intestine (terminal ileum)


Large intestine (colon = colon)