My story

Hi all, Im 23 years old and was diagnoised with Crohns at the age of 17 after first suffering with a stomach ulcer and then a month after getting told I have 'patchy crohns'small/large intestine and in my anal passage (which byt the way when you have a flare up there is very uncomfortable to say the least!). I consider myself quite lucky when it comes to what i have been through with my crohns considering - had numerous amount of colonascopies, been put on predisolone to start and then was moved onto azathioprine which was working well for about 3 years until recently it seems to have stopped working...I've had a abcess the size of a small football in my left bottom cheek due to the crohns in my annul passage which was probably the worst thing I have ever gone through since having the disease - the only way i could describe it was like generally having a small football stuck in your bottom and then having a flare up as well.Not pleasant. But saying that i am very lucky because i have an amazing doctor who i know if and when ive ever needed him he's been there and done everything possible to help me through it and get me sorted asap. As im sure you will all agree its good to have someone (whether it be your doctor) you can talk to who knows what your going through so you dont feel like your going through it on your own. As i have gotten older my body has slowly started to reject more certain foods but in general i feel i have been quite lucky as i love my food even though it dosent always seem to love me! Alchol is 9/10 quite good with me too as i tend to know whether or not my body will let me have a drink or not.Thats i think all with me so far - all i can say is take care of yourselves and its been lovely reading your stories so when i have a bad day it reminds me that im not alone.

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by: Annette

Hi there,

Thank you so much for your post. It must have been very hard for you being diagnosed so young and it does take time to come to terms with the disease. I think it's a difficult disease full stop but especially in your teenage years when you want to get out there and embrace life.

It's a frustrating one because all you can do is to manage it as there is no cure yet as you are probably aware.

You sound like you have come to terms with it though and this is a real positive. The good news is that Crohn's disease can come and go, although it will always be a part of your life even if seemingly in remission. You will certainly have days, weeks, months and even years where you feel as if life has gone back to normal.

There are many triggers that could cause a flare-up and it is worth bearing these in mind:

Alcohol - limit the amount you drink
Smoking -if you smoke, give up as soon as possible.
Stress - We face stressful situations everyday but its important to learn how to manage it with relaxation techniques.
Foods - dairy, sugars, fruit and vegetables with skin/peel

These are just a few examples but not all of these will necessarily be triggers for you. The more you can learn about the disease, the more able you will be to cope.

Many people worry about their next bout but anxiety and worry can become the next trigger so importantly, try to go from day to day and to shrug off any concerns. If you are living a well-balanced lifestyle, not over-indulging in any potentially harmful food type etc, then you may be lucky.

Many people who have crohn's go onto enjoy wonderful lives with intermittent pain levels. They can still achieve all they want to in life and they learn to be flexible. So there's plenty of good things ahead.

Good luck.

Has anyone else been diagnosed in their teenage years? I would be interested to hear your story.

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