What are your experiences?

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Mormor Vicky
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Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 684
   Posted 11/18/2008 7:31 PM (GMT -6)   
Question for the more knowledgeable people here.  Please let me know how you know you are flaring?  Does it come on gradually or quite suddenly?  What are your first symptom?  When do you contact the doctor?  Do flares come and go without medical intervention?
The reason I'm asking is because the last month or so the small of my back has been hurting really bad.  And this past week I've been running low grade fevers.  Nothing higher then 99.8.  The last couple of days I've had more and looser bm's but since I have IBS I usually don't worry about it unless it lasts for over a week.  Everything has been so gradual that it's been almost unnoticeable but when you add up everything I'm starting to wonder. 
Vicky / 48 years old
DX'd with Crohn's during a resection August 2006
DX'd with Steriod induced Diabetes November 2006
Considered in Clinical remission but have minor signs of disease activity
Daughter (27) also has Crohn's since she was 12.
Currently on 4000mg of Pentasa only for Crohn's
No longer able to take 6-MP because of Bone-Marrow Suppression
Cymbalta, Metformin, Lipitor

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 11/18/2008 9:28 PM (GMT -6)   
I don't know how knowledgable I am but here goes...

My first symptom is I suddenly get extremely tired (fatigue) even if I have stayed well within my normal parameters of my schedule. I do very well if I eat at home (acceptable foods) and stay on a pretty tight schedule regarding sleep and work/home activities as well as the med schedule. The more I deviate from my schedule the worse things get.

Usually the next day I start running to the bathroom about an 1/2 hour to an hour after I eat or drink anything (sometimes even water). I ALWAYS have a low grade fever whether I'm flaring or not. Immediately after the running off starts I will put myself on a liquid diet for 24 hours and graduate to puree foods after 48hrs. Then the third day I try solid food. If this fails and I am still in the bathroom every hour I go ahead and give the Gastro a call. At this point her first suggestion with me is a short course of Prednisone.
This normally stops it and I have to make sure to do a sloooow taper on the Pred.

All this is usually the tide that turns the table for me, however, I have had some mini flares hit hard and fast without warning...those usually come when I've eaten something I shouldn't or can't figure out what the heck I've done to inflict such injury. Hope this helps.
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium, Lexapro, Nulev, Glucosamine, Multi-Vitamin, Calcium Citrate, Ultracet. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, kidney stones & peri-menopausal.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 312
   Posted 11/18/2008 10:30 PM (GMT -6)   
I've started flares all different ways. I've started out feeling fine yet going to the bathroom up to 12 times a day. I've started off with one illness, that led into a monster flare up. I've also started the way you were, fever wouldn't get above 99.8 except in mornings.it would start creeping up throughout the day..and while my stool was still formed, it was getting a little more weird until one day, it was loose. That same day, i was so tired i could barely walk. Then i felt pressure to go to the bathroom and it was gushing blood. That happened 2 more times. And the next thing you know.. i was waking up and people were huddled around me at work and it was off to the hospital!

This IBD diseases are unpredictable. They are usually caused by something else other then itself just deciding to flare up. A cold, an allergy, a bad food you ate, maybe some stress..can cause flare-ups. So its really unpredictable and some people spontaneously get sick, while others just spontaneously get better. For some of us, flares are predicated by seasons.

So a general answer to all your questions is "YES"



UC/Chrons since age 22, now 27.  Several huge flares since then.  Entire colon diseased at some point from cecum to rectum.  Also had previous inflammation in terminal ileum.
Currently tapering prednisone(12.5 mg from 80 mg).  Also just starting 6mp again(75 mg) and lialda.  

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1488
   Posted 11/19/2008 8:49 AM (GMT -6)   
Vin I like your description of spontaneously getting sick or better. That's pretty much the scope of things isn't it. I also have to agree that any sickness causes additional stress on the body and is likely to roll off a chain of events that lead to a flair. Good analysis!
Dx'd Jan'06, 1st Resection 7/06, Humira, Imuran, B12 injections, Nexium, Lexapro, Nulev, Glucosamine, Multi-Vitamin, Calcium Citrate, Ultracet. Secondary conditions: Psorasis, Osteoarthritis, Fibromyalgia, Lactose Intolerant, gallstones, kidney stones & peri-menopausal.

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 11/19/2008 9:52 AM (GMT -6)   
Well I always see a difference in many folks description of a flare. For me a flare is symptoms slowly getting worse as the week goes on. Symptoms include increase in D, joint pain, and malaise. If they last longer than one week I know its a flare. The other that I think many call flares is usually something that I would only call an exaherbation caused by stress or not getting enough sleep or eating the wrong thing. And those only last about 3-4 days. I don't consider that a flare, just a bump in the road. More of like a IBS attack, not a true Crohns flare. JMHO
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years.  Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium.  Resections in 2002 and 2005.  Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis. Currently my Crohns is in remission.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 1115
   Posted 11/19/2008 10:48 AM (GMT -6)   

I usually start a flare by getting very weak and tired..my joints will ache..I then will start the abdominal pain, BM's get darker, and I am 110% nauseated..usually if blood tested at this point my white cell count will be high..I also if I am getting very active I will start getting headaches, get sores in my mouth, start hearing alot of stomach noise, start the diarrhea, eyes get bloodshot and swollen looking, not tolerant of certain foods and start the liquids ect to low residue to see if it will help..and usually head to the doctor..For some reason my flare pattern is worse in fall & winter..I usually do really well in the summer for some reason..


Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 2672
   Posted 11/19/2008 2:22 PM (GMT -6)   
Mine have been all quite different too. My last one I had swelling in my hand and lip (inflammation in my body was through the roof!). Then a few days later the D and pain kicked in.

A few years ago I was have lots of D and pain, then massive bleeding.

Most of my smaller flare ups have just been D and pain.
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease 2/06 after sever GI bleed. Has been suffering since 1998. History of rectal fistula and gallbladder removal. Taking Asacol, Questran, Toprol XL (for high blood pressure). Tapered off prednisone a month ago!

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 11/19/2008 2:36 PM (GMT -6)   
Just as there is no such thing as a typical Crohns patient, there is no such thing as a typical flare. If there is one constant for most peolpe, though, it would be frequency and consistency of BMs . . . more and looser means flare to me.
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