My GI kept trying to link my smoking with my Crohns, I never really paid much attention to it. I mean I know smoking is bad for your stomach, and just bad for you in general, but I never thought it triggered my Crohns; until he asked me..
Doc:"When did you FIRST get sick?"
Me: "When I turned 16"
Doc: "When did you first start smoking?"
My doctor said the same thing!
Post Edited (pb4) : 5/17/2009 8:20:34 PM (GMT-6)
I was a very healthy kid. I had the occasional cold and I've had the flu twice in my life. My parents used to tell me I had a really strong immune system because when kids were sick around me at school, I never seemed to catch what they had.
But my dad's sister has UC (she's now 81-years old)...and my dad's cousin has CD. So possibly for me Crohn's is genetic and I was just born with it and it didn't become ACTIVE until my 30's.
I also think environmental factors MUST somehow play a role...possibly CAUSING the disease in some people and possibly triggering the disease into an active state for those who already have the disease from some other source.
When I first started to get ill, I was under A LOT of STRESS. Two things were going on. First, I was working 4 jobs: one full-time and 3 part-times. At one of my PT jobs, I had a massive problem with a co-worker. I'm not the confrontational-type...but with this girl I was a totally different person. She knew how to push my buttons and we would argue and fight and curse each other at the top of our lungs. I LOVED the job but hated being around her. We'd started off as friends but an illness she'd had in high school surfaced again during the time I knew her - bulemia. Her personality changed and she started drinking . She became unbearable to be around. She would come to work drunk and just start an argument with me for no reason. I just didn't know how to control my temper when she'd start in.
While that was going on, I had an AWFUL infestation of MICE in my apartment. This wasn't just a case of killing 1 or 2 mice. There was a family breeding in the walls between my apartment and the apartment next door (who had a dog and a cat inside so the mice knew to go to MY place where there were no animals!). I would find mouse droppings in every room along the walls; on the couch & chairs; even IN MY BED. I couldn't sleep at night for fear of them crawling in bed with me! I fought with the apartment management who didn't want to admit there was a mouse problem. They sent a pest control person who did nothing but set out blocks of poison which never worked. I used glue traps and spent MANY nights hauling "alive and squealing but stuck" mice to the garbage...until I got the bright idea to start putting them on the steps of the apartment management's door. It was awful and I was a nervous wreck. I ended up staying with my parents for the longest time until I was able to MOVE OUT of the apartment and get a new, "mouse-free" place.
And during all this time, I was having worse and worse abdominal pains & loose BM's up to 15 times a day. I was Dx with IBS and given meds that didn't work. The pain and the LBM's got worse and I eventually quit the PT job I mentioned so I'd have time to find out what was wrong with me. It took another year for a Crohn's diagnosis.
I can't help but wonder, though, if those two stress factors played a role in ACTIVATING my Crohn's. Maybe I'd been born with CD from a genetic perspective but the stress I was not used to dealing with activated the disease. Had I NOT had that PT job...had I NOT had that mouse-infestation...would I be on this Crohn's Forum right now?
It sure would be great to one day know the REAL answer.
Post Edited (Kittikatt) : 5/18/2009 10:01:15 AM (GMT-6)
Post Edited (Nanners) : 5/18/2009 11:37:27 AM (GMT-6)