Crohn’s disease: Early signs in the eyes, skin and joints – ‘symptoms may come and go’

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People with Crohn’s disease sometimes go for long periods without symptoms or with very mild symptoms, but may also have flare-ups. There are a number of symptoms to be aware of, including some which might have a noticeable impact on your appearance. While there’s no known cure for Crohn’s disease, therapies can greatly reduce its signs and symptoms.

North Shore Gastroenterology health site says it can be difficult to pinpoint the condition if you do not look out for the signs.

It suggests that some of the earliest signs include pain and redness in eyes, as well as red bumps on the skin.

Other early signs include appetite loss, abdominal pain, fever, exhaustion, joint pain and nausea.

The site suggests: “These symptoms may seem unrelated or harmless on their own, and it is easy to ignore them.”

It adds: “However, if you experience more than a few of them, it could be a sign of Crohn’s disease.”

Once the condition worsens, the health site says that symptoms can include bloody stools, black, paste-like stools, and diarrhoea that doesn’t respond to medication.

It notes: “People with Crohn’s disease find their symptoms exacerbate after eating certain foods or periods of high stress.

“However, they may also experience periods of remission where their symptoms go away completely for several weeks, months, or even years at a time.”

Crohn’s disease belongs to a group of conditions known as inflammatory bowel diseases.

“Crohn’s is a very individual condition and some people may remain well for a long time, even for many years, while others may have more frequent flare-ups,” says charity Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

It is estimated that Crohn’s Disease affects about one in every 650 people in the UK.

With medication, many people with Crohn’s have mild and infrequent symptoms of diarrhoea and pain, and their illness may not affect their lives very much, adds Crohn’s and Colitis UK.

Crohn’s can start at any age, but usually appears for the first time between the ages of 10 and 40.D

rug treatment for Crohn’s usually aims to reduce symptoms, control flare-ups and achieve remission.

The NHS states that it is thought several things could play a role in causing the condition.

These include your genes, as you are more likely to get it if a close family member has it.

It may also be caused by a problem with the immune system that causes it to attack the digestive system.

Other causes may be smoking, a previous stomach bug or an abnormal balance of gut bacteria, says the health body.

When Crohn’s disease first develops it is sometimes mistaken for appendicitis.

Your doctor will initially arrange blood tests to help find the diagnosis. You may also be asked to provide stool samples for analysis to see if there is an infection in your gut.

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