Center for Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatment and Research
Signs of a Disease Flare
Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic condition that is marked by periods of Remission (when a patient is feeling well and has little to no symptoms of their disease), and also periods of increased disease activity, called a Flare. Keep in mind that there are certain symptoms that strongly suggest a flare (for example, bloody diarrhea), and others that are less specific, and can be seen with viruses or other illnesses (for example nausea, non-bloody diarrhea, fevers). Also, keep in mind that symptoms of a flare are often similar to the symptoms a child had when they were first diagnosed with their IBD.
It is important to notify your/your child’s GI health care team if you notice any of the following symptoms of a disease flare-up.
- Bloody diarrhea (please call right away)
- Abdominal pain or cramping (if severe, please call right away)
- Diarrhea (without blood)
- Persistent nausea or vomiting
- Persistent weight loss without an explanation
- Persistent fevers without an explanation
- Joint pain and swelling
- Mouth ulcers
- Coin sized, painful red or black bumps on the arms and legs
- Eye pain or redness
Different people have different symptoms, and symptoms may range from mild to severe. Again, it is important to contact your health care team if you are concerned about any of the symptoms listed above.