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Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

En Español (Spanish Version)

Main Page | Risk Factors | Symptoms | Diagnosis | Treatment | Screening | Reducing Your Risk | Talking to Your Doctor | Living With Inflammatory Bowel Disease | Resource Guide

Diarrhea and abdominal pain are usually the first symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Symptoms may come and go. People with this disease may sometimes have periods of few or no symptoms.

Many symptoms are related to the inflammation in the digestive system, these include:

  • Persistent diarrhea, often with blood and/or mucous appearing in stools
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Mouth sores, as well as sores and abscesses in the anal area (with Crohn’s disease)

Symptoms caused by the diarrhea and rectal bleeding include:

  • Anemia
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Weakness

Symptoms related to a system-wide inflammatory process associated with inflammatory bowel disease may include:

  • Fever
  • Arthritis
  • Skin rashes
  • Eye pain or inflammation
  • Kidney stones
  • Other system-wide conditions


  • Crohn's disease in adults. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated August 17, 2015. Accessed October 1, 2015.
  • Ulcerative colitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: Updated August 21, 2015. Accessed October 1, 2015.

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