What Does Crohn’s Stomach Pain Feel Like? Understanding the Symptoms

When it comes to living with Crohn’s disease, one of the most common symptoms that individuals face is stomach pain. But what does this pain actually feel like? Is it a dull ache or a sharp, stabbing sensation? And how does it differ from other types of abdominal discomfort?

The truth is, Crohn’s stomach pain can be incredibly varied and can manifest in a number of different ways. Some people may experience a constant, nagging ache in their gut, while others may feel sudden and intense cramps. It’s not uncommon for the pain to be accompanied by bloating, gas, and diarrhea as well.

Despite how common stomach pain is for people with Crohn’s, one of the biggest challenges can be explaining the sensation to others. It’s difficult to convey just how uncomfortable and painful it can be, and without experiencing it firsthand, it’s hard for loved ones and friends to truly understand what you’re going through. But for those who are living with this condition, it’s a reality that they cope with on a daily basis.

Symptoms of Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can affect any part of the digestive tract. While the symptoms may vary from person to person, some of the most common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping: Crohn’s disease often causes a dull, aching pain on the right side of the abdomen, which can intensify after meals or during bowel movements.
  • Diarrhea: Chronic diarrhea is another common symptom of Crohn’s disease. It may also contain blood or mucus.
  • Fatigue: Because Crohn’s disease can interfere with the body’s ability to absorb nutrients, patients often experience fatigue and weakness.
  • Weight loss: Frequent diarrhea and malnutrition can cause unintended weight loss, which can be severe in some cases.
  • Fever: Many people with Crohn’s disease experience low-grade fevers, which may indicate inflammation in the body.

If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, it’s important to see a doctor as soon as possible. Early diagnosis and treatment can help manage the symptoms and prevent long-term complications.

Causes of Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes inflammation in the digestive tract. The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown, but research suggests that it is caused by a combination of factors, including:

  • Genetics: Crohn’s disease is more common in people who have a family history of the condition. Researchers have identified more than 200 genes that may contribute to Crohn’s disease.
  • Immune system dysfunction: The immune system is responsible for fighting off infections and diseases, but in people with Crohn’s disease, the immune system sees harmless bacteria in the gut as foreign invaders and attacks them, causing inflammation.
  • Environmental factors: Factors such as a diet high in fat and low in fiber, smoking, stress, and the use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) may trigger Crohn’s disease in people who are genetically predisposed to the condition.

Common Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

The symptoms of Crohn’s disease vary from person to person, but common symptoms include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in the stool
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Fever

Diagnosis of Crohn’s Disease

If you are experiencing symptoms of Crohn’s disease, your doctor may perform several tests to rule out other conditions and confirm a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease. These tests may include:

  • Blood tests: to look for signs of inflammation and anemia
  • Stool tests: to look for signs of infection or inflammation
  • Colonoscopy: to examine the lining of the colon and rectum and take tissue samples for analysis
  • CT scan or MRI: to get detailed images of the digestive tract and look for signs of inflammation or damage

Treatment of Crohn’s Disease

There is no cure for Crohn’s disease, but there are several treatment options that can help manage symptoms and reduce inflammation. Treatment options may include:

Treatment Description
Medications Anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics, and biologic therapies may be used to reduce inflammation and manage symptoms.
Diet and Nutrition Avoiding trigger foods and maintaining a healthy, balanced diet may help reduce symptoms and promote healing.
Surgery In severe cases, surgery may be necessary to remove damaged portions of the digestive tract and relieve symptoms.
Lifestyle Changes Managing stress, getting regular exercise, and quitting smoking may help reduce inflammation and improve overall health.

Diagnosing Crohn’s disease

Diagnosing Crohn’s disease can be a challenging task for physicians because the condition can have a wide range of symptoms that overlap with other digestive disorders. One of the most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease is stomach pain. However, not all stomach pain is indicative of Crohn’s disease, and it is essential to distinguish between Crohn’s disease-related stomach pain and other types of pain associated with digestive disorders.

Here is some information about how Crohn’s disease-related stomach pain feels:

  • The pain is generally located in the lower right region of the abdomen, although it can occur in other areas as well.
  • The pain can range from mild to severe and can be intermittent or constant.
  • The pain may be accompanied by cramping, bloating, and diarrhea.
  • The pain can get worse after eating or drinking, particularly after consuming greasy, fatty, or spicy foods.

It is worth noting that some people with Crohn’s disease may not experience stomach pain or may have entirely different symptoms from those listed above. Diagnosis of Crohn’s disease requires a thorough evaluation of the patient’s medical history and symptoms, as well as diagnostic tests.

Diagnostic tests commonly used to diagnose Crohn’s disease include:

  • Blood tests: These tests can detect anemia, inflammation, and other signs of infection.
  • Stool studies: These tests can detect signs of infection, such as bacteria or parasites.
  • Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy: These procedures use a flexible tube with a camera to examine the inside of the colon and rectum.

In some cases, doctors may also use imaging tests, such as CT scans or MRIs, to examine the intestines and surrounding areas.

Diagnostic test What it involves
Blood tests A small amount of blood is drawn and sent to a lab for analysis.
Stool studies A sample of stool is collected and sent to a lab for analysis.
Colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy A flexible tube with a camera is inserted into the rectum to examine the inside of the colon or rectum.
CT scan or MRI Imaging tests that use x-rays or magnetic fields to create detailed images of the intestines and surrounding areas.

If a doctor suspects Crohn’s disease based on a patient’s symptoms or diagnostic test results, they may order a biopsy. During a biopsy, the doctor removes a small sample of tissue from the intestine and sends it to a lab for analysis. Biopsies can help confirm a diagnosis of Crohn’s disease and rule out other conditions.

Common gastrointestinal issues

For those dealing with Crohn’s disease, stomach pain is an unfortunate reality. This is because the disease affects the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, causing inflammation that can result in a variety of symptoms. Some of the most common GI issues experienced by those with Crohn’s include:

  • Abdominal cramping and pain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Bloating and gas
  • Nausea and vomiting

The severity of these symptoms can vary from person to person, and even from one day to the next. Some individuals may experience occasional mild discomfort, while others may suffer from severe and debilitating pain. Additionally, the location of the inflammation within the GI tract can also impact the type and severity of symptoms experienced.

One way to help manage these symptoms is by maintaining a careful and consistent diet. This can involve avoiding trigger foods that may exacerbate inflammation or digestive issues, as well as focusing on nutrient-dense whole foods that promote gut health and healing. It can also be helpful to work with a qualified healthcare provider to develop a personalized treatment plan that may include medication, lifestyle modifications, and other supportive measures.

Crohn’s stomach pain: what does it feel like?

For individuals with Crohn’s disease, stomach pain can be a central and debilitating symptom. The pain can range from mild to severe, and may feel like:

  • Cramping and pressure in the abdomen
  • Burning or stabbing sensations
  • Dull and achy discomfort
  • Sharp and intense pain

The location of the pain can also vary depending on the location of the inflammation within the GI tract. For example, individuals with inflammation in the small intestine may experience pain in the lower right abdomen, while those with inflammation in the colon may experience pain in the left side of the abdomen.

In addition to abdominal pain, individuals with Crohn’s may also experience other symptoms related to inflammation and digestive distress, such as diarrhea, constipation, bloating, and nausea. Addressing these symptoms through a combination of diet, medication, and lifestyle modifications can help to alleviate pain and improve overall quality of life.

Symptom Description
Abdominal cramping and pain Sharp or dull sensations of discomfort in the abdomen
Diarrhea Loose and watery stools that may occur frequently
Constipation Difficulty passing stools or infrequent bowel movements
Bloating and gas Feeling of fullness or tightness in the abdomen, often accompanied by excessive gas
Nausea and vomiting Feeling of queasiness or the urge to vomit

Ultimately, dealing with Crohn’s disease and the associated stomach pain can be challenging and require ongoing management. By working with healthcare professionals and taking a proactive approach to lifestyle and dietary changes, however, individuals with Crohn’s can help reduce pain, improve their symptoms, and enhance their quality of life.

Managing Crohn’s Pain

Dealing with pain caused by Crohn’s disease can be challenging, but there are ways to manage it effectively. Apart from medication prescribed by your doctor, here are some additional measures you can take:

  • Exercise regularly: Physical activity has been shown to relieve Crohn’s pain and improve overall quality of life.
  • Practice relaxation techniques: Stress can worsen Crohn’s symptoms and pain, so engaging in calming activities like yoga or meditation can be helpful.
  • Adopt a healthy diet: Certain foods can trigger flare-ups and worsen pain. Consulting a nutritionist or avoiding trigger foods like dairy, spicy or fried foods can significantly reduce pain.

Consulting your healthcare provider or a pain management specialist is also beneficial, to ensure proper pain management and avoid potential complications of long-term medication use.

Additionally, keeping a pain diary can help you track potential triggers and identify patterns in your pain. This record will be useful in discussing your symptoms with your healthcare provider and devising an effective treatment plan together.

Treatment option Description Benefits
Acupuncture The insertion of fine needles into specific points of your body to balance your energy and reduce pain. Non-invasive, no side-effects, can be a complementary treatment strategy.
Cognitive-behavioral therapy (CBT) A type of talk therapy that helps you manage your symptoms by changing negative thoughts and behaviors. Demonstrated to be effective in managing chronic pain, induce positive behavior change, and can be combined with medication.
Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation (TENS) The application of mild electrical currents to your skin to trigger the release of feel-good neurotransmitters and reduce pain. Non-invasive, no side-effects, can be combined with other treatments.

When managing Crohn’s pain, it is essential to work with your healthcare provider to find the most suitable treatment options for you and ensure proper pain management. By adopting a healthy lifestyle and engaging in complementary therapies, you can significantly reduce your pain and improve your quality of life.

Dietary considerations for Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the digestive tract. One of the most common symptoms of Crohn’s disease is stomach pain. This pain can vary from mild to severe and is often accompanied by other symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and weight loss. For individuals living with Crohn’s disease, dietary choices can have a significant impact on their symptoms and overall quality of life. The following are some dietary considerations to keep in mind if you have Crohn’s disease:

  • Low-fiber foods: Fibrous foods that are difficult to digest can cause discomfort and worsen symptoms in individuals with Crohn’s disease. Stay away from tough, fibrous meats, whole grains, nuts, seeds and raw fruits and vegetables.
  • Low-fat foods: For some individuals with Crohn’s disease, high-fat foods can cause digestive distress and worsen symptoms. Typically, fats that are healthy such as avocado, nuts and salmon are okay, in moderation.
  • Lactose-free options: Crohn’s disease can cause lactose intolerance, therefore, avoiding dairy products can be helpful to relieve stomach difficulties. However consuming lactose-free options such as almond and soy milk, yogurt and butter can be considered.

Eating foods that pose minimal inflammation and aid healing is important to manage Inflammation. For example foods rich in omega-3 fatty acids, such as salmon, mackerel, chia seeds and flaxseeds can have anti-inflammatory effects. Furthermore, including suitable veggies are brilliant choices for their antioxidants and gut-promoting benefits. Fruits that have prebiotic fibers like kiwi, papaya and honeydew melon can improve digestion and immunity.

Personalised Approach

As each individual with Crohn’s disease is different, adjusting to a customized dietary approach can assist in managing their unique symptoms. Some individuals can eat a variety of foods without any problems. Others might have to avoid specific ingredients, flavors and/or textures. It is essential to listen to one’s body and monitor the symptoms after eating specific foods.


Eating strategically plays a critical role in managing Crohn’s symptoms. Involving disease and dietary considerations whilst deciding on foods can aid in reducing inflammation and improving the nutrient absorption of an individual’s digestive system. Therefore it is recommended to maintain a diary regarding what is eaten for tracking and identifying which foods or meals worsen the symptoms

Alternative Therapies for Crohn’s Disease

While it is important to work with a medical professional to manage Crohn’s disease, there are alternative therapies that may provide additional relief for stomach pain. These therapies should be used in conjunction with traditional treatments and under the guidance of a healthcare provider.

  • Acupuncture: This ancient practice involves stimulating specific points on the body with needles or pressure to balance the body’s energy flow. Research has shown that acupuncture may help reduce inflammation and alleviate pain in some people with Crohn’s disease.
  • Herbal remedies: Some herbs, such as aloe vera, chamomile, and turmeric, have anti-inflammatory properties and may help reduce Crohn’s symptoms. However, it is important to speak with a healthcare provider before taking any herbal supplements, as they can interact with other medications and may not be safe for everyone.
  • Mind-body therapies: Techniques such as meditation, yoga, and hypnotherapy may help manage stress and anxiety, which can exacerbate Crohn’s symptoms. Mind-body therapies can also help increase feelings of well-being and improve overall quality of life.

In addition to alternative therapies, certain lifestyle changes may also provide relief for Crohn’s stomach pain. These include:

  • Dietary changes: Avoiding trigger foods, such as spicy or fatty foods, and increasing intake of anti-inflammatory foods, such as leafy greens and fish, may help reduce inflammation and ease symptoms.
  • Exercise: Regular exercise can help improve digestion, reduce inflammation, and manage stress.
  • Getting enough rest: Getting enough sleep and reducing stress can also help manage Crohn’s symptoms.

It is important to remember that everyone’s experience with Crohn’s disease is unique, and what works for one person may not work for another. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.

Therapy Possible Benefits Possible Risks
Acupuncture May reduce inflammation and alleviate pain. Risk of infection and bleeding if needles are not sterilized or inserted improperly.
Herbal remedies May have anti-inflammatory properties and alleviate symptoms. May interact with other medications and have unpredictable side effects.
Mind-body therapies May reduce stress and improve overall well-being. May not be effective for everyone and can be time-consuming.

Alternative therapies can be a helpful complement to traditional treatments for Crohn’s disease. It is important to work with a healthcare provider to determine the best course of treatment for your individual needs.

FAQs: What does Crohn’s stomach pain feel like?

Q: What kind of pain do people with Crohn’s disease experience?

A: The pain is usually described as a sharp, crampy, stabbing, or bloating sensation in the abdominal area.

Q: Is the pain constant or intermittent?

A: The pain can be either constant or intermittent and may come and go over time.

Q: Can the pain be felt in other parts of the body?

A: Yes, the pain can also be felt in the lower back, rectum, or around the anus.

Q: Is the pain more severe during a flare-up?

A: Yes, the pain is usually more severe during a flare-up when the inflammation is at its highest.

Q: Can the pain be relieved with medication?

A: Yes, medications such as anti-inflammatory drugs and pain relievers can help alleviate the pain.

Q: Are there any lifestyle changes that can help mitigate the pain?

A: Yes, maintaining a healthy diet, reducing stress, and staying hydrated can help reduce the frequency and intensity of Crohn’s stomach pain.

Q: Should I seek medical attention if I experience severe stomach pain?

A: Yes, it is important to seek medical attention if you experience severe stomach pain, especially if accompanied by other symptoms such as fever, vomiting, or bloody stool.

Closing Thoughts: What does Crohn’s stomach pain feel like?

Living with Crohn’s disease can be challenging, and stomach pain is one of the most common symptoms experienced by individuals with the condition. The pain is usually described as sharp and crampy, and it can be felt in the abdominal area, lower back, rectum, or around the anus. While medication and lifestyle changes can help alleviate the pain, it is important to seek medical attention if the pain is severe or accompanied by other symptoms. We hope this guide has helped you understand what Crohn’s stomach pain feels like. Thanks for reading, and we hope to see you again soon for more helpful health-related information.