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WHAT CAN
Inflammation in your body look like?

Person viewing a small intestine on a laptop

See Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis (UC) from the inside.

Take a look at mild, moderate, and severe inflammation inside your body and how it may affect what symptoms you have.

Person viewing a small intestine on a laptop

You, Your Body, and Inflammation. Know It. Own It.

Get started exploring Crohn’s disease or UC inflammation. Just choose either the Crohn's or UC tab, then click or tap on the hotspots on the GI tract or large intestine to see the corresponding symptoms when inflammation is active in those areas. Explore even more by clicking to see what mild, moderate, and severe inflammation looks like.

GI tract graphic
Large intestine graphic

Click on a hotspot for more information

Mouth

Symptoms may include mouth pain and discomfort.

Inflammation in the mouth can lead to different types of ulcers and swelling of the gums.

Esophagus

Symptoms may include pain and difficulty swallowing.

Inflammation in the esophagus can lead to ulcers that can become deeper or more prevalent as the inflammation level increases.

Stomach

Symptoms may include stomach pain, nausea, and vomiting when disease is active.

Inflammation in the stomach can lead to ulcers that can become deeper or more prevalent as the inflammation level increases.

Small intestine

Symptoms may include diarrhea, anemia, pain, or nutritional deficiencies when disease is active.

Inflammation in the small intestine can lead to ulcers that can become deeper or more prevalent as the inflammation level increases, involving the surrounding tissue.

Colon

Symptoms may include abdominal pain and diarrhea with or without blood when disease is active.

Inflammation in the colon can lead to ulcers that can become deeper or more prevalent as the inflammation level increases, involving the surrounding tissue.

Rectum

Symptoms may include bleeding and pain, as well as fever when disease is active.

Inflammation in the rectum can lead to abscesses and fistulas (a small tunnel that forms between two parts of the body).

Stricture

Some symptoms of strictures may include crampy abdominal pain, vomiting, and bloating. Talk to your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.

Chronic inflammation can lead to a stricture (narrowing) in the small intestine and in the colon and rectum. Strictures are a common complication in Crohn's disease.

Fistula

Fistulas are tracts that connect different parts of the intestine that can tunnel into the bladder, vagina, or skin. Symptoms may include infection at the site of the fistula.

Chronic inflammation can lead to a fistula (an abnormal tract) in the colon, rectum, and small intestine. About 30% of people with Crohn's may develop fistulas.

Abscess

Some symptoms of complications may include rectal pain and lower abdominal discomfort. Talk to your doctor right away if you experience any of these symptoms.

Chronic inflammation can lead to an abscess (a collection of pus), usually in the rectum.

KEY

 

See symptoms & the effects of inflammation

 

See complications

Get a Crohn’s Inflammation Discussion Guide

Download a guide and bring it to your next appointment to ask your doctor about how inflammation plays a role in the symptoms you may experience—and how inflammation may also be present even when you're not experiencing any symptoms at all.

Click on a hotspot for more information

Transverse and Right (Ascending) Colon

If inflammation extends to this part of the colon, this type of UC is called pancolitis. Symptoms may include bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, and fatigue.

Inflammation in any part of the colon can lead to ulcers that can vary in size and depth depending on disease severity.

Left (Descending) Colon

 If inflammation extends to this part of the colon, this type of UC is called left-sided colitis. Symptoms may include bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain,  weight loss, and urgency to move one's bowels.

Inflammation in any part of the colon can lead to ulcers that can vary in size and depth depending on disease severity.

Sigmoid Colon

If inflammation extends to this part of the colon, this type of UC is called proctosigmoiditis. Symptoms may include bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain, and the urge to move the bowel without the ability to do so.

Inflammation in any part of the colon can lead to ulcers that can vary in size and depth depending on disease severity.

Rectum

Symptoms may include rectal bleeding, pain, and urgency to move one's bowels when disease is active.

Inflammation in any part of the colon can lead to ulcers that can vary in size and depth depending on disease severity.

KEY

 

See symptoms & the effects of inflammation

 

See complications

Get a UC Inflammation Discussion Guide

Download a guide and bring it to your next appointment to ask your doctor about how inflammation plays a role in the symptoms you may experience—and how inflammation may also be present even when you're not experiencing any symptoms at all.

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