Crohn’s Disease-a Little information.


Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease which primarily attacks the digestive tract.  This encompasses any part of the digestive tract, starting with the lips and ending with the rectum. Some of the the symptoms associated with this aspect of Crohn’s are:

-diarrhea

-bloody stools, often with mucous

-cramping

-loss of appetite

-sores, fissures and ulcerations

-fistulas (abnormal openings between areas of the body)

-gas

-nausea/vomiting

Crohn’s frequently results in scarring and narrowing of the bowel which often requires surgery to remove.  Crohn’s,  like the other autoimmune diseases has no cure.

And, like the other autoimmune diseases,  it also has an assortment of extra-intestinal manifestations such as:

-fatigue

-joint pain

-rashes and skin lesions

-inflammatory complications in organ systems such as the heart/circulatory system, lungs and eyes

Having a Crohn’s diagnosis has been both good and bad.  I was thrilled to learn I had a real medical problem, after spending so many years being brushed off by doctors.  It’s amazing how handy general practitioners are to label something “all in your head”.  I had been called hysterical, anxious, depressed, stressed and was accused of being lazy AND looking for excuses not to work.  Let’s just say I felt vindicated!  Can you relate??

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6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Sarah
    Mar 28, 2012 @ 18:33:32

    They finally diagnosed me with crohns last year….I’m still learning about it. Any tips?

    Reply

    • Autoimmune Maven
      Mar 28, 2012 @ 18:48:30

      Goodness Sarah, there are so many things to keep up with. Try to get plenty of rest. Keep a food diary to see if any specific food group is giving you problems–some of us will have issues with food & others not. Know the full extent of your medical coverage. Don’t be tempted to skip your medications. Get & keep copies of all of your health records and get a second opinion on anything you’re not feeling sure about. Feel free to email me– divaonthemove@yahoo.com

      Reply

  2. mo
    Feb 27, 2011 @ 21:35:12

    Oh YES, I can relate!!! I just came out of a four day flair-up. It felt like I had taken the prep for a colonoscopy, it was so horrible. In the past I had been told I had IBS, nervous stomach (and what is that please?) to eat more fiber, to eat less fiber…blah..blah..blah! Then in 1986 I had an emergency surgery for an ovarian cyst and “surprise”…guess what they found? You got it, Crohns!! AND diverticulitis. Different conditions, different treatment. Great.

    In fact, when I got ill in 2001, all the doctors tried blaming it on Crohns. After months my Gastro doc, of all people, found Addison’s Disease.

    I am sorry you have to suffer with this horrible disease. I’m hoping you will have more good days than bad!

    xoxomo

    p.s. I cracked up when I read extra-intestinal. Too funny.

    Reply

    • Autoimmune Maven
      Feb 27, 2011 @ 21:46:54

      Autoimmune joy often travels in clusters of three. Has the third monkey surfaced for you yet?? Mine are Crohn’s, A.S. and Sjogren’s. Thanks for wishing me well and same to you!! It’s been a long, drawn out event, that’s for sure.

      Reply

  3. phylor
    Feb 27, 2011 @ 21:35:04

    I can so relate! Now that I can say fibromylagia, I don’t have to list off a series of symptoms. Though each fibro experience is different, having an “umbrella” as my rheumy calls it to dangle/hang my symptoms from does make a big difference! I still tend to think of my various health issues as individual “problems” and I deal with each one differently. But it beats listing off everything — those in the “know” understand; those who don’t still need “the list.”
    Thanks for bring up the issue of having a “name” from health issues. I had IBS before it was IBS! There again I was given a name, rather than a list of symptoms.
    Having a “name” gives you something to share with others who are dealing with the same “named” health problem. It’s easier to feel part of a community then.

    Reply

    • Autoimmune Maven
      Feb 27, 2011 @ 21:42:41

      I thought it was crazy when I was SO relieved to finally have a “reason” for being sick. If only I had some way to rub the negligent doctors’ noses in it!!! Thanks for reading chicky!!

      Reply

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