“Symptoms of Crohn’s disease include fatigue, abdominal pain, and achy bowels.”

“lifestyle changes, medication, and sometimes surgery can be used to manage the disease. Comorbidities and Crohn’s disease often go hand in hand with chronic inflammatory conditions.”

Read on to learn which conditions are common.

“The inflammation in your small and large intestine is caused by the disease. The areas where you experience inflammation with Crohn’s disease are what make the condition different from other inflammatory bowel disorders.”

An estimated 1 million Americans have Crohn’s disease. The intestinal inflammation can raise the risk of health complications, such as ulcers, intestinal obstruction, abscesses, and fistulas.

Sometimes, people with Crohn’s disease experience other medical conditions that may be related in some way to Crohn’s. While not everyone with Crohn’s disease will experience the complications outlined below, these do tend to develop more often in people who have Crohn’s.

Comorbidities are medical conditions that occur simultaneously. People with Crohn’s disease tend to experience certain medical conditions. It’s important for doctors to know about these possible comorbidities so they can screen for them.

These are some of the conditions that occur more frequently with the disease.

  • Ankylosing spondylitis: Ankylosing spondylitis is a condition that causes arthritis to develop in the spine. The condition can cause pain, stiffness, and immobility in the spine as well as the shoulders, hips, heels, or knees.
  • Colorectal cancer: Crohn’s disease causes significant inflammation in your gastrointestinal tract, which could increase your risk for colorectal cancer. The risks are increased if Crohn’s disease mainly affects your colon, while the risk is not increased if Crohn’s disease mainly affects your small intestine.
  • Iron-deficiency anemia: People with Crohn’s disease experience higher rates of iron-deficiency anemia compared to other inflammatory bowel diseases. The lack of iron that causes anemia or low blood counts can lead to symptoms such as shortness of breath, fast heart rate, chest pain, stomach pain, and nausea. Doctors think chronic inflammation associated with Crohn’s disease may increase the risk for iron-deficiency anemia.
  • Migraine headaches: People with Crohn’s disease tend to experience migraine headaches at higher rates than those who don’t have Crohn’s. Migraine headaches can cause severe headaches that may affect your quality of life.
  • Psoriatic arthritis: An estimated 3.9 percent of people who have Crohn’s disease also experienced psoriatic arthritis, as seen in one study of more than 10,000 Crohn’s disease patients. Psoriatic arthritis causes symptoms such as swollen joints and itchy, scaly patches on the skin.
  • Osteoporosis: According to research, people with inflammatory bowel disease who’ve been prescribed a steroid regimen may have an increased risk of developing osteoporosis.
  • Primary sclerosing cholangitis: Primary sclerosing cholangitis is a condition that causes scarring to the bile ducts, which can potentially cause liver damage. This condition can commonly co-occur with Crohn’s disease as well as other autoimmune disorders such as celiac disease and thyroid diseases.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis: Rheumatoid arthritis is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and pain in your joints. Like Crohn’s disease, the condition causes episodes of exacerbation (worsening) and remission.

The goals for treating Crohn’s disease are to minimize flare-ups and symptoms whenever possible. Fortunately, there are quite a few types of medications that can help.

“It is important for your doctor to consider any co-morbidities when writing a prescription for your Crohn’s disease medication. Some medications for Crohn’s disease may make other conditions worse.”

Examples of Crohn’s disease medications include the following:

  • Biologic therapies: Biologic therapies can affect your immune system’s response that causes Crohn’s disease. However, the medication can worsen conditions such as heart failure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and cancer.
  • Corticosteroids: Corticosteroids are medications prescribed to reduce inflammation. They can be helpful in treating acute flares in autoimmune conditions, such as ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis. These medications are not intended for long-term use. Steroids can also increase the rate of bone mass loss, and may not be a good fit if you have osteoporosis.
  • Immunomodulators: Immunomodulators are medications that may reduce immune system activity which, in turn, may ease severe Crohn’s disease reactions. However, these conditions can cause low white blood cell counts. This side effect may be dangerous if you have colorectal cancer or other conditions where you need a strong immune system.

Medications aren’t the only methods that are used to treat Crohn’s disease. Often, diet changes that reduce the demands on the bowels can significantly help manage Crohn’s symptoms. Surgical options are also sometimes needed.

“The symptoms of crosius disease vary. It isn’t a guarantee that you’ll have comorbidities.”

Try and live well with the disease. lifestyle changes can support your health

These changes include some.

  • A diet that involves several small meals is what it is.
  • using a food journal that can help you identify whether some foods make your symptoms worse
  • Talking to your doctor about taking an iron supplement or increasing iron-containing foods in your diet, including fortified foods such as cereals and breads.
  • “If you have anxiety or depression related to Crohn’s disease, you should see a therapist.”
  • talking to your doctor about needed screenings for comorbidities, such as a colonoscopy for colorectal cancer
  • Finding outlets that help you relieve stress is something you can do.

If support groups are available in your area, you can ask your doctor or gastroenterologist. Talking to people with the same disease can help you learn more about effective strategies.

“There is an inflammatory bowel disorder called Crohn’s disease. It may increase your risk for other conditions.”

“If you have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, you should talk to your doctor about your risks for comorbidities and any additional screenings or treatments you need.”

Knowing if you have other conditions can help your doctor prescribe the best treatment for you.