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Symptoms of IBD

The symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) vary greatly depending on the type of IBD you have - Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis or microscopic colitis - and where it is in your digestive tract.

There are some common symptoms, though not everyone suffers from all of them. These can be primary (directly related to your IBD) or secondary (extraintestinal symptoms which affect parts of your body other than the digestive tract).

Symptoms can come and go and you may have periods where you experience no symptoms at all. This is known as remission. Or, you may experience lots of symptoms all at the same time. This is known as a flare.

Crohn’s disease symptoms

Primary symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:

  • Diarrhoea which may be mixed with mucus, blood or pus
  • Urgency to go to the toilet
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Constipation
  • Bloating
  • Loss of appetite
  • Being, or feeling, sick
As Crohn’s disease can affect any part of your digestive tract the symptoms can be very wide ranging and you may find that you suffer from a collection of symptoms which someone else with Crohn’s disease doesn’t.

Secondary symptoms of Crohn’s disease include:

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Ulcerative colitis symptoms

Primary symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

  • Diarrhoea which may contain blood, mucus or pus
  • Abdominal pain
  • Needing to empty your bowels frequently
Secondary symptoms of ulcerative colitis include:

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