Most people have experienced a nosebleed at some point in their life.

Common causes of nosebleeds include dry air, foreign objects in the nose, chemical irritation, allergic reaction, repeated sneezing, nose picking, cold air, upper respiratory infections, and large doses of aspirin.

More serious causes of nosebleeds include high blood pressure, bleeding disorders, blood clotting disorders, and some cancers.

It’s even possible to experience nosebleeds due to Crohn’s disease, which is a gastrointestinal disorder.

Read on to learn more about why this happens for people with Crohn’s disease, what they can do about this, and what other nose-related symptoms and side effects can occur.

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that results in chronic irritation of the gastrointestinal tract.

An estimated 3 million people in the United States live with Crohn’s disease. It’s most commonly diagnosed in adults between 20 and 30 years old. It affects all genders and is often diagnosed in people who are of white, Latin, or Asian descent.

Common symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:

  • abdominal pain and cramping
  • constipation, and bowel instruction
  • inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract (anywhere from the mouth to the anus)
  • persistent diarrhea
  • rectal bleeding
  • sense of being unable to completely empty bowels
  • urgent need to have bowel movements

These symptoms may cause loss of appetite, weight loss, low energy and fatigue, and delayed growth and development in treatment (in children).

Other more serious complications include anal fissures (tears in anus lining), fistulas (abnormal openings in the digestive tract), and strictures (narrowing of the intestine).

But for some people with Crohn’s disease, symptoms may extend beyond the gastrointestinal tract. These other symptoms may include:

  • redness or pain of the eyes, often along with vision change
  • sore mouth
  • swollen and painful joints
  • skin rashes
  • fever
  • unexplained weight loss
  • fatigue
  • night sweats
  • loss of normal menstruation
  • osteoporosis
  • kidney stones
  • rare liver complications
  • during menstration your periods may come more often, less often, or not at all

Nosebleeds are a rare symptom of Crohn’s disease.

In some people, Crohn’s disease manifests in the nose. The condition’s gastrointestinal irritation and inflammation can extend to the nose and cause nosebleeds.

Nasal and other non-gastrointestinal manifestations of Crohn’s disease tend to occur among people with colonic Crohn’s disease. It’s thought that the inflammation and leakiness of the bowel cause inflammation elsewhere in the body. Such inflammation can result in nosebleeds.

Nosebleeds and other Crohn’s symptoms may create or worsen sinus disorders. People with Crohn’s disease may experience obstruction of their nasal cavity, nasal deformity, impaired smell, crusting, and acute or chronic sinusitis, among other issues.

These symptoms can be uncomfortable and interfere with your quality of life.

Nasal Crohn’s symptoms and other non-gastrointestinal Crohn’s symptoms can appear at any time, and they can be the first symptom of the disease.

Because the symptoms of nasal Crohn’s may overlap with other nasal and sinus issues, it can be tricky to diagnose. In one small study from 2003, researchers found that people with Crohn’s disease commonly experienced sinus issues that may or may not have been manifestations of Crohn’s disease.

The nasal symptoms of some cases of Crohn’s disease are commonly managed like other cases of chronic sinusitis. Management strategies commonly include:

  • nasal sprays
  • steroids
  • antihistamines
  • decongestants
  • antibiotics
  • surgeries

If you’re experiencing new or worsening nasal issues including inflammation, irritation, and nosebleeds, talk with your doctor about the potential causes.

You should also contact your doctor if you feel your Crohn’s disease symptoms are worsening or becoming more widespread across your body.

At present, most cases of nasal Crohn’s disease are treated with corticosteroid therapy, which helps minimize inflammation and irritation.

Another potential treatment for nasal Crohn’s disease and other forms of the disease that occur away from the gastrointestinal tract is to take a biological drug such as infliximab. These so-called biologics are powerful medications designed specifically to treat Crohn’s disease. They’re administered via injection.

Lastly, some researchers have tried a technique called leukocytapheresis, which involves removing some white blood cells from a person’s body to diminish its immune response. There have been promising results.

While most people associate Crohn’s disease with gastrointestinal symptoms, it seems this disease also puts people at higher risk of experiencing sinus issues.

In some cases, the sinus issues are actually caused by Crohn’s disease. People with nasal symptoms of Crohn’s disease may experience inflammation, irritation, tearing of the septum, and nosebleeds, among other symptoms.

There are several ways to manage the discomfort of nasal Crohn’s disease. Treatment that may lessen the severity of your symptoms.

If you experience new or worsening sinus symptoms, make an appointment with your doctor.