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Signs You Have Crohn's Disease Like Pete Davidson

Never ignore these symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
FACT CHECKED BY Alek Korab

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which causes the small and large intestines to become swollen and irritated. "I got Crohn's disease when I was 17 or 18," Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson has said. "My stomach would be in pain all day and I wouldn't be able to eat… I'm sick, I have Crohn's … so it sucks." While there is no cure for Crohn's, there are ways to manage the symptoms. "An informed patient is the best patient," says gastroenterologist Benjamin Click, MD. "They stand the best chance of better overall outcomes with the disease." Here are five symptoms of Crohn's disease, according to experts. Read on—and to ensure your health and the health of others, don't miss these Sure Signs You've Already Had COVID.

1

Severe Diarrhea

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Diarrhea is one of the most common symptoms of Crohn's disease, experts say—so if you are suffering from severe gut issues, see your healthcare provider. "In the past, patients used to suffer with symptoms for years until they were given a proper diagnosis," says Johns Hopkins Medicine. "Today, thanks to better imaging techniques and greater knowledge about Crohn's disease, the time between your initial doctor visit and the diagnosis and treatment phase is much shorter."

2

Fever

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Unexplained fever could be a sign of Crohn's disease, doctors say. "Crohn's Disease can be a challenging disorder to diagnose," says Jeffrey Tokazewski, MD, lead physician at Penn Family Medicine Gibbsboro. "In patients who are severely affected and have symptoms like bleeding, abdominal pain, and abnormal imaging or endoscopy, the diagnosis is fairly easy to make. However, many patients have subtler symptoms."

3

Rectal Bleeding

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Rectal bleeding is linked to a number of health conditions, including Crohn's disease, and should never be ignored. "Crohn's can occur anywhere from mouth inflammation all the way down to the anus, and the small intestine is most commonly involved," says Dr. Miguel Regueiro, Chairman of the Department of Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition in Cleveland Clinic, Digestive Disease and Surgery Institute. "Ulcerative colitis is mainly the colon. Both present with diarrhea. They can have bleeding, pain."

4

Abdominal Pain

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Having Crohn's disease often means dealing with frequent abdominal pain. According to Harvard Health, this pain is "usually at or below the navel, that is typically worse after meals."

4

Fever

Woman being sick having flu lying on sofa looking at temperature on thermometer. Sick woman lying in bed with high fever.
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Unexplained fever could be a sign of Crohn's disease, doctors say. "Crohn's Disease can be a challenging disorder to diagnose," says Jeffrey Tokazewski, MD, lead physician at Penn Family Medicine Gibbsboro. "In patients who are severely affected and have symptoms like bleeding, abdominal pain, and abnormal imaging or endoscopy, the diagnosis is fairly easy to make. However, many patients have subtler symptoms."

5

Weight Loss

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Unexplained weight loss could be linked to Crohn's disease, experts warn. "What happens with IBD is that the inflammatory system of the gut is turned on but doesn't turn itself off, either because the patient has lost their 'off switch' or because there is ongoing stimulation by something we are yet to discover," says David T. Rubin, MD. "Either way, when the inflammation continues, it causes damage. Patients usually end up losing weight because they learn consciously or subconsciously that when they eat less, they have fewer symptoms."

Ferozan Mast
Ferozan Mast is a science, health and wellness writer with a passion for making science and research-backed information accessible to a general audience. Read more
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