Crohn's Disease | Symptoms & Causes

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Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

  • 617-355-6058
  • International: +1-617-355-5209
  • Fax: 617-730-0254

What are the symptoms Crohn’s disease in children?

While symptoms may affect each child differently, common symptoms include unexplained fevers and diarrhea with or without blood. A child may be losing weight and not growing as expected, since pain may make them not want to eat, and inflammation may prevent the small intestine from absorbing the nutrients the body needs.

Other symptoms may include:

  • abdominal pain, often in the lower right area
  • weakness
  • fatigue
  • rectal bleeding (although often associated with ulcerative colitis)
  • blood in the stools or black, tar-like stools
  • joint pain
  • rashes
Some infections can cause symptoms like these, and it’s important for these to be excluded as possible causes. Crohn’s can be a challenging disease for a child to have, and reassurance and support can go a long way toward making a child feel better.

What causes Crohn’s disease in children?

Scientists have not yet discovered the cause of Crohn’s disease, but it’s an area of active research. We believe that both genes and the environment play a role. We also know that the immune system is involved, which is why treatment often involves medication to reduce its activity. Read more about our IBD research.

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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

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