In addition to systemic and gastrointestinal
involvement, Crohn’s disease can affect many other organ systems. Inflammation of the interior
portion of the eye, known as Uveitis, can cause eye pain, especially when exposed to light.
Inflammation may also involve the white part of the eye (sclera), a condition called Episcleritis.
Both Episcleritis and Uveitis can lead to loss of vision if untreated.
Crohn’s disease is associated with a type of rheumatologic disease known as Seronegative Spondyloarthropathy.
This group of diseases is characterized by inflammation of one or more joints (Arthritis) or muscle insertions
(Enthesitis). The arthritis can affect larger joints, such as the knee or shoulder, or may exclusively involve
the small joints of the hands and feet. The arthritis may also involve the spine, leading to Ankylosing Spondylitis if the entire spine is involved or simply Sacroiliitis if only the lower spine is involved. The symptoms of arthritis include painful, warm, swollen, stiff joints and loss of joint mobility or function.
Crohn’s disease may also involve the skin, blood, and endocrine system. One type of skin manifestation,
Erythema nodosum, presents as red nodules usually appearing on the shins. Another skin lesion, Pyoderma gangrenosum,
is typically a painful ulcerating nodule.
Crohn’s disease also increases the risk of blood clots; painful swelling of the lower legs can be a sign of
deep venous thrombosis, while difficulty breathing may be a result of pulmonary embolism. Autoimmune hemolytic anemia,
a condition in which the immune system attacks the red blood cells, is also more common in Crohn’s disease and may
cause fatigue, pallor, and other symptoms common in anemia. Clubbing, a deformity of the ends of the fingers, may
also be a result of Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease may cause Osteoporosis (thinning of the bones). Individuals
with osteoporosis are at increased risk of bone fractures.
Crohn’s disease can also cause neurological complications (reportedly in up to 15% of patients). The most
common of these are seizures, stroke, myopathy, peripheral neuropathy, headache and depression.
Crohn’s patients often also have issues with small bowel bacterial overgrowth syndrome, which has similar
In the oral cavity crohn’s patients may suffer from Cheilitis granulomatosa and other forms of orofacial
Granulomatosis, Pyostomatitis vegetans, recurrent Aphthous stomatitis, geographic tongue and migratory Stomatitis
in higher prevalence than the general population.