Health A-Z

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Besides the symptoms of IBD on the intestinal tract (such as bloody diarrhea, crampy abdominal pain and fever), people with the arthritis of IBD have pain, swelling, stiffness (particularly in the morning) in those joints that are inflamed. Symptoms tend to vary over time, sometimes better, sometimes worse. Often, but not always, the joint symptoms correlate with the bowel symptoms; that is, the joints tend to be more painful and swollen when the gastrointestinal symptoms are worse. Common complaints include low back pain that is worse in the morning and better when you exercise, limited joint motion and gelling, which means becoming more stiffness after not moving around much.

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From Health A-Z, Harvard Health Publications. Copyright 2007 by the President and Fellows of Harvard College. All rights reserved. Written permission is required to reproduce, in any manner, in whole or in part, the material contained herein. To make a reprint request, contact Harvard Health Publications. Used with permission of StayWell.

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