What are the complications of Crohn’s disease?

The most common complication is bowel obstruction, which occurs because the disease tends to thicken the intestinal wall with swelling and scar tissue, narrowing the passage.

Crohn’s disease can also cause fissures or ulcers that exit from the damaged area to surrounding tissues, such as the bladder, vagina or skin.

Often the areas around the anus and rectum are also involved. A common complication is perianal fistulas, which often become infected. Sometimes fistulas are treated with medication, while in some cases surgery may be needed.

Nutritional complications are also common with Crohn’s disease, as deficiencies in protein, calories and vitamins are seen. These may be due to inadequate dietary intake, intestinal protein loss or inadequate absorption, malabsorption.

Other complications associated with Crohn’s disease include arthritis, skin problems, inflammation in the eyes or mouth, kidney stones-nephrolithiasis, gallstones or other liver and gallbladder disease. Some of these problems are resolved during the course of treatment for disease in the digestive system, while others must be treated separately.