The symptoms of Cronkhite-Canada syndrome occur because of multiple polyps occurring in the stomach, small intestine, colon and, less frequently, the esophagus. These include chronic or recurring watery Diarrhea, cramps, and abdominal discomfort. These people may also have abnormally low levels of protein in the blood (protein-losing enteropathy), causing a feeling of general ill health (cachexia), malnutrition, Nausea and Vomiting.
The earliest symptoms reported are changes in taste and loss of smell. Patients can even experience a profound loss of appetite, sometimes to the point of malnutrition, weight-loss and/or excess fluid accumulation in the arms and legs (peripheral edema). An imbalance of certain essential minerals (electrolytes) may occur because of chronic Diarrhea. Some people with CCS may also have large skin bruises (ecchymotic plaques) and/or impaired lung function. Other symptoms may include loss of hair (alopecia), large areas of dark spots on the skin (hyperpigmentation) and degenerative changes and, eventually, loss of the fingernails (onychodystrophy).
Patients with CCS can also have coexisting autoimmune disorders, where the body develops antibodies against an organ, thereby attacking itself, e.g. hypothyroidism, rheumatoid arthritis, scleroderma, systemic lupus erythematous, etc.