Symptoms of Crohn’s diseases or colitis vary in their severity from person to person. The symptoms tend to come and go over time as the inflammation in the bowel flares up and then dies down again.
In colitis, inflammation in the bowel lining can cause tiny ulcers (open sores) to form. The ulcers can cause bleeding, and blood and mucus is often present in the stool.
Because the inflamed bowel is less able to absorb water, diarrhoea develops. There may also be crampy abdominal pains.
If there is inflammation in the rectum you may feel an urgent need to have a bowel movement.
Diarrhoea and abdominal pains are also common symptoms in Crohn’s disease, but there is often no obvious blood or mucus in the diarrhoea.
Mouth ulcers, tiredness, weight loss and fever are also common symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
Crohn’s disease can also cause pain or swelling around the anus (back passage).
Please see your doctor if you are concerned about any of these symptoms.
Last reviewed: January 2018