ibd_crohns_colitis_diagnosing_ibdInflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can cause a variety of symptoms both within and outside of the gastrointestinal tract. Many of the symptoms of IBD could indicate separate underlying health conditions. Therefore, it is important to consult an IBD specialist if you have experienced a progression of symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease.

The IBD Center of Excellence offers a team of renowned gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons specializing in the comprehensive management of inflammatory bowel disease. If you are experiencing symptoms of IBD or would like to schedule a consultation with one of our IBD specialists, contact us at (888) 421-4172.

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The onset of IBD in the majority of patients occurs between the ages of 15 and 30. In about 10% of patients, these symptoms present before the age of 18. People with IBD may notice a progressive loosening of the stool, followed by intermittent and severe flare-ups of abdominal pain. Additional symptoms may vary from person to person and include:

  • Fever
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • Urgency to have a bowel movement
  • Rectal Bleeding
  • Abdominal Cramping
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Weight Loss
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia, in cases of severe bleeding

Complications of Crohn’s Disease

The most common complication of Crohn’s disease is intestinal stenosis, or a blockage of the intestine due to swelling and scar tissue. Stenosis can lead to severe cramping pain, vomiting, and bloating. Other complications associated with Crohn’s disease include:

  • Sores and ulcers in the intestinal tract
  • Formation and infection of fistulas
  • Acute perforation of the intestinal wall
  • Shortage of proteins, calories, and vitamins
  • Increased risk of developing colorectal cancer
  • Joint pain- Arthritis
  • Skin rashes

Severe and prolonged inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract increases the risk of these complications. An estimated 75% of people with Crohn’s disease will require surgery at some point in their lives to address a complication of bowel inflammation.

Complications of Ulcerative Colitis

Complications are less common in patients with ulcerative colitis than Crohn’s disease, and may include:

  • Bleeding from deep ulcerations
  • Several abdominal bloating
  • Acute perforation of the intestinal wall
  • Increased risk for developing colorectal cancer

Can IBD Affect Other Body Parts?

People with IBD often experience symptoms in other parts of their body that seem unrelated to the gastrointestinal tract. While it is still not entirely understood, the spread of inflammation outside the digestive system may result in:

  • Skin lesions
  • Joint Pain
  • Eye inflammation
  • Liver disorders

Additional health conditions may result from the altered absorption of food through the digestive system. Reduced absorption of vitamins and trace minerals can cause secondary symptoms such as hearing and vision defects, changes in taste sensation, hair loss, infertility in men, and growth retardation in children. The imbalanced uptake of bile acids throughout the intestines can also increase the risk of developing gallbladder stones, while chronic water loss may lead to the formation of kidney stones.

Our gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons routinely see patients with a variety of IBD symptoms and are expertly trained to identify and manage patients with IBD in order to reduce their risk of complications.

Contact an IBD Specialist in Beverly Hills

At the IBD Center of Excellence in Beverly Hills, we deliver a compassionate, patient-centered approach for the management of inflammatory bowel disease. Our team consists of world-renowned gastroenterologists and colorectal surgeons who have trained at some of the top medical schools in the country, and possess a wealth of experience in the comprehensive medical and surgical treatment of IBD. For more information on symptoms and complications of IBD, or to schedule a consultation with an IBD specialist, please call (888) 421-4172.

Next, learn about Diagnosing IBD.