Crohn's Disease Complications

What are the crohn's disease complications? Crohn’s disease is also known as ileitis or enteritis. In order to make this comprehensive, it is longer than most pages. There was also an attempt to make it easy to understand while including some medical terminology.

There is an alternative treatment

Using cysteine to boost your glutathione can help eliminate the symptoms. More on that later. First and the most important the glutathione depleting complication. It is called Low CG Syndrome.

Low Cysteine Glutathione Syndrome

The first study: Impairment of intestinal glutathione synthesis in patients with inflammatory bowel disease.

This article appearing in Gut, a doctors journal on the gut, not only tells the story, it points to the therapeutic intervention.

Abnormally Low Plasma Cysteine Levels Associated with IBD

This is an important complication to note because...”Decreased activity of key enzymes involved in GSH synthesis accompanied by a decreased availability of cyst(e)ine for GSH synthesis contribute to mucosal GSH deficiency in IBD. As the impaired mucosal antioxidative capacity may further promote oxidative damage, GSH deficiency might be a target for therapeutic intervention in IBD,” says the article conclusion.

Looking further, note the connection... Low CG Syndrome

In this journal, "Role of cysteine and glutathione in HIV infection and other diseases associated with muscle wasting and immunological dysfunction." indicates not only the connection, it suggests the solution.

"...cysteine supplementation may be a useful therapy if combined with disease-specific treatments such as antiviral therapy in HIV infection."

There are, of course other complications.

Crohn Disease Complications

Chron Disease can be of two types. They may be directly related to the intestinal disease and be part of the intestinal tract or occur in areas unrelated to the intestines (extra-intestinal).

Intestinal Crohn Disease Complications

  • Bowel Obstruction
  • Ulcers and Sores
  • Anal Fissure
  • Fistulae
  • Bowel perforation
  • Formation of pus collections (abscesses)
  • Diarrhea
  • Malnutrition
  • Cancer of the bowel
  • Intestinal hemorrhage
  • Decrease in glutathione
  • This symptom and complication is a clue to a possible treatment.

Extra-intestinal Complications

  • Tender or painful, raised, reddish raised spots on the legs (erythema nodosum)
  • Inflammation of the joints (arthritis)
  • Inflammation of the lower back (sacroiliac joint arthritis)
  • Inflammation of the spine (ankylosing spondylitis) causing pain and stiffness
  • Inflammation of the eyes, painful red eyes, visual difficulties (uveitis and episceritis)
  • Inflammation of the Liver (hepatitis)
  • Inflammation of the bile ducts (sclerosing cholangitis) that drain the liver.
this can result in yellow skin, recurrent bacterial infections, and liver cirrhosis and failure. Sclerosing cholangitis with liver failure is one of the reasons a liver transplant is performed.
  • ulcerating skin generally around the ankles (pyoderma gangrenosa)
  • kidney stones
  • gallstones

No one knows exactly what causes the Crohn disease complications. Some researchers indicates the same immune system response that produces inflammation in your intestines may cause inflammation in other parts of your body.

Bowel Obstruction

Crohn's disease affects all the various layers of the intestinal wall. In time, parts of the wall of the bowel will thicken, swell, develop scar tissue and the bowel wall gets narrower.

This results in the most common complication, blockage of the flow digestive contents through the affected part of your intestine. In severe cases, surgery is required to remove the portion that is diseased.

The blockage may be noted when eating high fiber foods such as poorly digestible fruit or vegetables entering the already narrowed segment of the intestine.

Symptoms of obstruction may be painful and include abdominal cramps, abdominal pain, abdominal distention or enlargement, nausea and vomiting.

Ulcers and Sores

The chronic inflammation may lead to open sores or ulcers anywhere in the digestive tract and surrounding tissue. This can happen anywhere from the mouth to the anus.

Fistulas Sometimes the sores or ulcers tunnel through the affected area into surrounding tissues. This abnormal connection between the different body parts is called a fistula. It can happen between the affected intestinal tract and the bladder, vagina, different parts of your intestine, or between your intestine and skin. Signs and symptoms include recurrent urinary infections and passage of air and feces in the urine.

When internal fistulas form, nutrition from food may not be absorbed because it bypasses the areas necessary for absorption.

If the fistula is external there can be a resulting continuous bowel drainage. If the skin of the fistula becomes infected, it can be life threatening. You will need immediate medical attention.

Fistulas can be treated with medicine but often require surgery to repair.

Sometimes the ulcers are small tears called fissures. They develop in the lining of the mucus membrane of the anus.

Rarely massive dilatation of the colon or megacolon and rupture or perforation of the intestine occurs and is a potentially life-threatening complications. Both of these generally require surgery to correct.

Anal Fissure These have the appearance of a crack or cleft in the anus or in the skin around the anus where infections can occur. These usually are associated with painful bowel movements.


If the ulcer burrow through the bowel into an empty space in the abdomen, the collection of infected material (called an abscess) forms. Signs and symptoms include spiking fevers and tender abdominal masses.


Diarrhea is one of the common crohn disease complications. Most commonly diarrhea may result from partial bowel obstruction. Diarrhea may also result from excessive bacterial growth in the small bowel, poorly absorbing nutrients, bile acids and inflammation of the large intestine.

Signs and symptoms include the diarrhea including blood, abdominal pain and cramps. Rectal bleeding and bloody diarrhea are common. Massive bleeding from a Crohns ulcer is rare but can occur. This is a medical emergency and needs immediate medical attention.


Failure to get proper nutrition can result in two ways. Diarrhea, abdominal pain, cramping, and fistula complications can cause difficulty in eating or desire to eat. Decrease in digestion and the intestines failing to absorb enough nutrients is a second way malnutrition may result.

Other Crohn Disease Complications

Crohn's disease can cause problems in other parts of the body. These may seem unrelated to Crohns disease but are a complication of the disease.


Years of Crohn's disease may result in osteoporosis, a condition where bonds become weak and brittle. It may be related to low vitamin K levels, the vitamin necessary for binding calcium to the bones.

Colon Cancer Risk

Chrohn's disease increases the risk of colon cancer. Despite this increased risk, more than 90 percent of people with inflammatory bowel disease never develop cancer.

When inflammatory bowel disease has been present for eight to 10 years and it has spread through the entire colon, there is an increased risk of cancer. If only a small part of the colon has the disease, the risk is small.

Cancer of the small intestine is rare however, cancer of the colon occurs more frequently than previously thought.

Secondary Cancer Risk: Medications

The medications used to suppress the immune system, azathioprine, mercaptopurine, methotrexate, infliximab, are associated with a small risk of cancer development. This is yet another of the many crohn disease complications.

Although these drugs have increased risk, they may improve quality of life and help those suffering from Crohns to avoid surgery and hospitalization.

Malnutrition Risks

Nutritional deficiencies are common in Crohn’s disease. Deficiencies of protein, calories, and vitamins results from poor absorption, also called malabsorption.

Are there other chrohn's disease complications you are aware of? Let us know if we missed any.

What is Crohns Disease?

Digestive Disease

How Do I Boost My Glutathione?

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The Way to Make More GSH For Free

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