What are the Signs of Crohn's Disease in Children?

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  • Written By: Tara Barnett
  • Edited By: Melissa Wiley
  • Last Modified Date: 17 October 2018
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The signs of Crohn's disease in children may include diarrhea, abdominal cramping, and weight loss. In children, these symptoms might otherwise go unnoticed, but with Crohn's disease they become severe or happen frequently. Sometimes, blood appears in stool, which is always a reason to seek medical attention. Other symptoms might include inflammation, fever, or skin disorders. Crohn's disease in children may also cause delays in sexual development or growth.

Crohn's disease frequently appears in the late teenage years, although it can show up earlier or later. It is a disease that causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract anywhere from the mouth to the anus. This causes a number of problems relating to these organs, but also problems that are not as clearly connected to this system. When Crohn's disease is in remission, it may cause no symptoms at all, leading to difficulties identifying the disorder. Crohn's disease symptoms usually resurface and may become more severe over time.

Most commonly, Crohn's disease in children becomes apparent when it causes extensive vomiting, diarrhea, or weight loss. These symptoms are relatively easy for a parent to identify. A child frequently complaining of abdominal pain may be experiencing a symptom of Crohn's disease. While children often experience gastrointestinal problems, these problems will be recurrent or severe when Crohn's disease is active.


Fever is sometimes a sign of Crohn's disease in children. Anemia is also common and may become clear through fatigue, discolored skin, or other general anemia symptoms. Skin rashes may also occur, and these can become quite severe. Sometimes Crohn's disease may cause blood clots. When Crohn's disease causes dangerous side effects, the disorder may even be fatal.

Other signs of Crohn's disease in children include fatigue and lack of concentration. Some children experience other neurological symptoms, such as headaches, seizures, or depression. Inflammation of the eye and arthritis are also possible signs of Crohn's disease in children. Clearly, these symptoms alone do not point directly to Crohn's disease, but if this disease causes them, they will likely be ameliorated by treatment.

In children in particular, Crohn's disease may cause growth delays or problems with sexual development. Children do grow at different rates, but the array of problems associated with Crohn's disease may halt development altogether. Certainly, children should see medical professionals regularly when possible, and concerns about these and other problems should be made known to doctors. Treating Crohn's disease early can prevent serious complications and permanent problems later on.



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