If you have recently been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, chances are you have not thought about how it can affect parts of the body beyond the bowels. After all, abdominal pain and diarrhea are hallmark symptoms. Crohn’s disease most commonly affects the ileum, which is the end of the small bowel and the beginning of the colon. But inflammation from the illness can spread elsewhere, including the eyes, skin, and joints.
“When Crohn’s becomes active, inflammation can lead to other areas of the body. The gastrointestinal tract includes the mouth and anus, so it’s no surprise that these areas can also be affected,” says Shannon Chang, MD, a gastroenterologist who specializes in Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis at NYU Langone.
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