While not everyone with Crohn’s disease will experience bleeding, it’s a common symptom for those with this inflammatory bowel disease. You can consult your doctor about anti-inflammatory medications, food choices, or surgical options to help manage Crohn’s bleeding.

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Seeing blood in your poop or mouth can be concerning. For some people, this blood is a symptom of Crohn’s disease, an inflammatory bowel disease that affects the digestive tract and other parts of your body.

This article will help you understand why this happens. Knowing which treatments are available can help you take action to feel your best.

An estimated 3.1 million people in the United States have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Crohn’s disease most commonly affects the small intestine and the colon, but it can affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract from the mouth to the anus. It can even affect one part of the GI tract, skip over a section, and affect another section.

Crohn’s disease symptoms can range from mild to debilitating. Some common symptoms include:

  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • abdominal pain
  • pain or cramping before and during bowel movements

Additionally, people with Crohn’s disease may still feel an urge to poop even after they have finished using the bathroom.

Chronic, constant inflammation from Crohn’s disease can lead to ulcers, fistulas, and fissures throughout the digestive tract. These can cause bleeding to occur, particularly in the lower intestines and rectum.

There are still many questions about how this condition begins and the best ways to manage it.

No cure exists at this time for Crohn’s disease, but treatments can help to reduce symptoms.

Crohn’s disease in deeper detail

For a greater overview of Crohn’s disease, make sure to check out this other Healthline article. You can also learn more about the best diets for those with Crohn’s disease here.

Seeking additional resources and ways to get connected to others with Crohn’s disease? The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation is a great place to start.

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It’s possible to not experience any bleeding when you live with Crohn’s disease.

Bleeding in Crohn’s disease is less common than with ulcerative colitis, but it depends on where the inflammation is occurring.

When Crohn’s disease affects the lower colon and rectal area, blood is more likely to be found in bowel movements.

Bleeding is most likely to occur when Crohn’s disease is active or flaring up. Even if you’ve already been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, it’s important to let your doctor know if you see signs of bleeding.

Although it can have effects on other parts of the body, Crohn’s disease mainly impacts people’s digestive tracts, especially the intestines.

Inflammation in the intestines can cause swelling and thickening of the intestinal walls. In some cases, this can block the bowel entirely.

It can also cause ulcers and fistulas. Fistulas are abnormal passageways that allow contents to bypass parts of the intestines. When these are present, you may not be able to properly absorb nutrients.

People with Crohn’s disease can also experience tears in the lining of the anal canal called anal fissures. These can result in bleeding or blood in an individual’s bowel movements.

Chronic inflammation from Crohn’s disease can cause ulcers to develop.

Ulcers can develop anywhere in the digestive tract, including the mouth and deep in the bowel wall. Many ulcers may develop in one area, or they may be spread out. They can also develop in one area, skip over an area with healthy tissues, and appear again in another part of the digestive tract.

Having ulcers throughout the digestive tract can cause serious bleeding. Chronic, low grade bleeding from multiple ulcers may lead to anemia. In more rare cases, large amounts of ulcers or heavy frequent bleeding can require surgery.

Crohn’s can lead to your gums bleeding, but it is a more rare symptom of this condition.

Sometimes, people with Crohn’s disease may have inflammation and swelling of the gums due to nutritional deficiencies. It’s important to note that this doesn’t mean people with Crohn’s have poor diets, but rather inflammation in the GI tract caused problems with nutrient absorption.

Medications may also play a role in the mouth sores and bleeding some individuals with Crohn’s disease experience, but more research on that is still needed.

You can consult your healthcare team about different options to manage bleeding symptoms related to Crohn’s disease

Some of the anti-inflammatory medications taken for Crohn’s disease and colitis may help to stop Crohn’s related bleeding. It can also help to determine and avoid any inflammatory food triggers.

In some cases, it may be necessary to have surgery to remove part of the digestive tract or to treat an abscess or fistula. Bleeding should be reduced after this. However, surgery is often considered a last resort for Crohn’s disease.

Not every individual with Crohn’s disease will experience bleeding, but blood in bowel movements can be a symptom of this condition. Individuals with Crohn’s disease may also experience bleeding in other parts of the body like their mouth.

If you’re experiencing bleeding due to Crohn’s disease, you may want to talk with your doctor. While there’s no cure for Crohn’s disease, they can help you find a treatment plan that minimizes the symptoms you experience, including bleeding.