New & Unsure About Crohns

Hi.

I Am Currently Unsure Whether I Might Have Crohns.
My Mum & Sister Both Have Crohns.
I Have Some Of The Symptoms:
Lack Of Appetite
Constipation Sometimes, As Theres Days I Wont Go To Toilet Then Others Im Fine.
Fatigue Which Gets Intense & Seems Fairly Constant,
Abdominal Pain - Varies Can Be Really Intense That I Want Too Curl Up In Bed Then Its Just Uncomfortable Then Nothing.
Rectal Itchness & Discomfort Sometimes,
Possible Anemia
Have Had Depression Recently & Low Mood,
Struggle To Put On Weight & Sometimes Loose Alittle,
Sometimes Bleed Alittle When Go Too Toilet
Have Sore Knees & Have Currently Sore Ankle
Sometimes Have Really Bad Sweats In Night & Wake Up Sweaty But Sometimes Nothing.

I Have Heard Theres A Link Bewteen Genetics, If Family Members Have Crohns My Chances Are Increased.
I Dont Have These Signs All The Time & Last Few Weeks Have Been Ok, So Not Sure If I need To Get Checked Out?

Comments for New & Unsure About Crohns

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New and Unsure About Crohn's NEW
by: Annette Young

Hello there,

I hope you're feeling better and that a correct diagnosis has been made. It does seem to be very difficult to diagnose Crohn's disease and I know people who endured all sorts of tests and pain and it literally took decades for the diagnosis to come through.

I also know many people who have Crohn's disease who have had to literally fight tooth and nail to get further treatment and support and this is terrible. The last thing you want to do when you feel fatigued and in pain is to have to take a bolshy stance.

I agree with the other posts in that Crohn's disease typically causes diarrhoea but I have heard cases where feelings of constipation has occurred through blockages. If you do have a blockage, then it is vital that you seek medical assistance.

Fatigue is a very common side-effect of Crohn's disease as is joint pain, weight loss, anaemia and rectal bleeding. It is true to say that genetically you stand a greater chance of contracting Crohn's disease if you have family members who have it too. IBS is often one of the first diagnosis are made and in fairness irritable bowel syndrome does mimic some of the symptoms of Crohn's disease, but I do advise you to go back to your doctor to get further support.

Sadly, you do have to become your own detective to work out what is going on with your body. Presenting the doctors with information about your symptoms, triggers and even lifestyle can really help them to make a correct diagnosis. It is important that you don't just ignore the symptoms, they may come and go and the pain and discomfort may fluctuate but what you don't want is to leave it and then to experience a severe episode and it become an emergency.

I hope this helps,

Do let us know how you get on.

Annette

Thank You.
by: Anonymous

Thank You So Much For All The Help & Information.
I Did See My Docter After My Sister Urging Me To,
They Did Blood Tests That Showed Inflammation,
& Gave Me Tablets To Help With Stomach Pain,
& Quickly Said It Was Most Likely IBS.
However I Am Going To See Another Docter Next Week.
As Have Next To No Appetite & Lost Not Far Off A Stone Of Weight.
Hope To Have Some More Definate Answers Soon.
Thanks Again. :)
X

New and Unsure
by: Anonymous

...Continued from above or below

Eat low fibre vegetables such as carrots, potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, fish, chicken, soya, bananas, apple mousse, peaches, apricots (in moderation), lactose-free milk, no soft cheeses, toast, rice, noodles, etc. Eat good fat, such as olive oil and sunflower oil for cooking. Walnut and linseed oils are very good for you. However, you cannot cook with them. They both come in very small bottles, which must be kept in the fridge and used up quickly.

You should describe your stools using the Bristol Stool Scale http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bristol_Stool_Scale

Use the comparative pain scale 1-10: http://www.tipna.org/info/documents/ComparativePainScale.htm

I suggest that you use the Crohn's Disease Activity Index (CDAI) as a basis for your data collection: http://www.ibdjohn.com/cdai/

Doctors only really respond to data and if you can produce the necessary data then they will be able to give you a proper diagnosis faster. They will want to know if you have lost weight (Caveat: there are obese Crohn's patients), how many bowel movements a day,

You have two experts in the house who should be able to give you tips.

How to prepare for a doctor's appointment:
http://www.webmd.com/ibd-crohns-disease/crohns-disease/tc/crohns-disease-when-to-call-a-doctor

Caveat: You cannot diagnose yourself. You need extensive tests carried out by a gastroenterologist. At this stage nobody can say that you have Crohn's. However, blood in the stool and night sweats need urgent medical attention because these indicate a high probability of damage to the gut and infection, respectively. The extraintestinal symptoms of Crohn's include joint pains, liver problems, inflammation of the eye, vasculitis, skin rash, etc.

I hope that your detective work is fruitful and that you receive a correct diagnosis. Put together a folder with your research results and keep that diary going - collect at least a month's worth of data and try and write down when your symptoms first started (one year ago, two years ago?).


New & Unsure
by: Anonymous

You need to see a good gastroenterologist to get a diagnosis. The symptoms you describe can also apply to other diseases such as coeliac disease, diverticulitis, bad nutrition, etc.

At this stage of the game if a doctor suggests IBS I would move on and find a second and better doctor. A diagnosis of IBS can only be given when everything else has been excluded. The average individual can also have food intolerances.

There is a constipating Crohn's - it is generally associated with stenosising and stricturing Crohn's or a smouldering Crohn's, which causes heaps of adhesions www.adhesions.org , which in turn can cause partial paralysis (by strangulation) of segments of the gut and can eventually lead to necrosis (happened to me).

From the genetics, your chances of being passed on the Crohn's genes are around 8% or 1:12 if only one of your parents has Crohn's. This increases to around 1:3 chance if both of your parents have Crohn's. There is a paper that reports a 92-year old Japanese man with a first diagnosis of Crohn's. Perhaps, your dad is a carrier of Crohn's genes.

It is estimated that there are well over 200 maybe over 300 genes associated with Crohn's and many of these overlap with other autoimmune diseases. This is why it is not unusual for Crohn's patients to have one or more other autoimmune disease, e.g., psoriasis, rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, diabetes, etc.

I am convinced that I had smouldering Crohn's for 32 years prior to the diagnosis. I had similar symptoms to yourself and as a teenager had a time when I would come back home exhausted and have to go to bed around 20:00 and sometimes spend most of the day in bed. I also had eye problems and joint problems along with the general malaise and weakness plus a gut that was very unpredictable.

Depression is associated with malabsorption, which can be caused by Crohn's. http://ods.od.nih.gov/factsheets/list-VitaminsMinerals/ There are many other factors involved in depression and I suggest that you read up about how to increase your serotonin levels and make the necessary changes to your lifestyle to make sure that you are halfway happy and fit enough to work on getting a diagnosis: http://www.integrativepsychiatry.net/serotonin.html

In order to get to the bottom of this (no pun intended) you need to collect data by keeping a mood, food and symptom diary (Google for support). It is hard work and requires a lot of time and effort, but it is the only way.

Try to stick to easy to digest foods. Keep away from red meat and salads for a couple of weeks. Avoid dried fruit and nuts for the same time period. Avoid skins, pips and whole grains for a couple of weeks. Slowly introduce these foods to see whether or not they have an effect on your gut health.

New and Unsure
by: Shari

Mr. Bray is right -- Crohn's gives you diarrhea big time. It's because the inflammed bowel secretes lots of salt and water. Your constipation and on and off symnptoms sound more like Irritable Bowel Syndrome.

I have 3 family members with Crohn's, one is my mother. Please don't put off seeing a doctor -- you'll have to see your primary physician first for some tests and if indicated you'll be referred to a GI specialist.


New & Unsure...
by: Peter Bray

No diarrhea? I have never heard about Crohns without diarrhea...my daughter has had it 23 years, is now 43---recently had fistula surgery and a temporary, looped ileostomy--Always better to get checked out---see a good gastroenterologist---Read, read, read, ask questions at support groups like this--E-mail me if you like, I'm a lay Crohns advocate and researcher for my daughter, 23 years---

PetrBray@AOL.com

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