Sudden painful flare ups

by Mary Anne

My 19 year old son was diagnosed with Crohn's this past January. He had been on prednisone and was gradually taken off of it as of 2 days ago. He has been doing very well with no pain until all of a sudden this evening he had a sudden flare up of significant pain. I gave him a darvocet as prescribed by his MD. Is there anything else that will help with the pain until I can call his MD tomorrow AM?

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re: Sudden Painful flare ups NEW
by: Mary Anne

Annette ..... thank you for your post/information. I posted my original comment about 2 and a half years ago or maybe more. We've had quite the roller coaster ride. Here's an update. Two summers ago my son went to Florida (from Pa) for his first college internship. Prior to leaving for Florida, he had a colonoscopy and check up with his GI. Colonoscopy showed no Crohn's Disease and my son was feeling good. One week after being in Florida for his internship, (over Memorial Day weekend) he developed terrible abdominal pain. Luckily he was staying with my brother and sister in law and they took him to the ER. He had tests, etc and was given meds for pain and was sent home at the end of the day. He was feeling better. Over the course of the next 2 days his pain came back and was terrible. My sister in law took him back to the ER and this time he was admitted. They were going on his stated diagnosis of Crohn's disease but were also considering a bowel obstruction. My husband and I flew down to Florida immediately. My son had an NG tube and IV's etc. Poor kid was miserable. Over the next week he seemed to be getting better but each time they tried to advance his diet from clear liquid he would have pain again. He had 2 terrible exacerbations of pain where it took the nurses a couple of hours to get it under control. My son was begging for surgery. We all went into the surgery thinking it was to remove a section of his bowel affected by Crohn's. Our very HAPPY news is that he did NOT have Crohn's ..... he had a fibrous adhesion wrapped around the outside of his intestine causing a very painful bowel obstruction. So, the surgeon removed the adhesion (he said it was like a guitar string wrapped around the intestine). The surgeon said usually people develop abdominal adhesions from previous surgeries, but my son never had surgery before. So, we're still not sure why he developed those adhesions and hope they never come back ! So, since that event, my son went back to college and graduated last May. He is now back in Florida working as areospace engineer at the same place where he had his internship.

Sudden Painful Flare-Ups NEW
by: Annette Young

Hello Mary Anne,

Thank you very much for your post, I am sorry to hear that your son has been diagnosed with Crohn's disease. 19 is still quite young to have this disease although many much younger are also being diagnosed.

You say that he had been on medication but was gradually taken off of it, can I ask why he was coming off of the medication if it was working? If he was having side-effects from the medicine, then I can understand why and then he should have been given something else to try. Or was he coming off of the drug because his symptoms were disappearing?

Usually, the doctors suggest that people stay on their medications especially if it is working and even when the symptoms are disappearing, they recommend a continuity of treatment because coming off of any medicine can actually cause a flare-up, and although I am not a doctor, it might be that this is what is happening.

Of course it is important that he sees the doctor as soon as possible, because there can be other things that is lurking within that may need to be identified.

When there is a lot of pain, it is best to eat very easy to digest foods such as soup because this gives the relevant nutrients and does not cause the same problems within the digestive tract. Some people like to have a hot water bottle or pad to place on the area that is feeling most pain and this can be quite soothing but it does not work for everyone.

It's important that he stays calm, although I can appreciate that is very difficult to do and it might be a good idea for you to jot down anything that he ate or has drank in the last few days, because it may be something that he consumed which is triggering off an attack.

The trouble is that everybody has different experiences with Crohn's disease and although the symptoms are similar, people respond to triggers differently.

I hope that he receives the necessary treatment and responds quickly.

Do let us know how he gets on.

Best wishes,

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