Ileocolitis is the most common form of Crohn’s disease, according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America. It causes inflammation of the lower portion of the small intestine, or ileum, and the large intestine, or colon.
People who have ileocolitis may experience the following symptoms:
- cramping or pain in the middle or lower abdomen
- weight loss
Ileitis causes inflammation only in the ileum. While Crohn’s disease can cause ileitis, other infections and inflammatory disorders can do so as well.
Ileitis causes similar symptoms as ileocolitis.
People who have ileitis and other forms of Crohn’s may develop gastrointestinal fistulas.
Fistulas are inflammatory channels that create passageways through the walls of the small intestine. Fistulas connect the small intestine to other areas and structures, including into the skin.
Digestive juices can leak through a fistula into the surrounding tissue or other organs. Fistulas can lead to serious health complications, such as severe systemic infection, malnutrition, dehydration, and significant weight loss.
Around 50% of people who have ileitis develop one or more intestinal strictures, which are narrowings of the intestines. Strictures occur when inflammation causes swelling or scarring in the intestinal walls.
Crohn’s colitis, or granulomatous colitis, causes inflammation only in the large intestine. People who have Crohn’s colitis may develop fistulas, ulcers, and abscesses near the anus.
Symptoms of Crohn’s colitis may occur in other forms of Crohn’s, as well, and often include:
- rectal bleeding
- bloody stools
- skin lesions
- joint pain
Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease
Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease affects the stomach, esophagus, and the first part of the small intestine.
- loss of appetite
- weight loss
Jejunoileitis causes patches of inflammation in the upper half of the small intestine, or jejunum.
Symptoms can include:
- abdominal pain or cramps after eating
Prolonged inflammation can lead to the formation of fistulas in the jejunum.
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