What causes narrowing, of the small intestines?

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vid53
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Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 117
   Posted 2/11/2010 11:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I was told that i have narrowing of the intestines in multiple places through out the small intestines but not bad enough to require surgery.So does this mean i will have surgery in the future?Is it the food you eat?

Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 2/11/2010 12:10 PM (GMT -7)   
Generally the narrowing is caused by inflammation. As you have repeat inflammation that heals it creates scar tissue. If this scar tissue narrows to where it is difficult or impossible for the food you consume to pass you will have an obstruction. I once had a 20 year remission where I lived like I didn't have a chronic and incurable bowel disease. I didn't want to take meds as I thought I didn't need them and I definetly did not watch my diet. My 20 year remission ended with an emergency resection due to complete obstruction. So I always recommend everyone to take maintainence meds at all times, even when feeling well. During that 20 years I had repeat inflammation that I did not know was occuring and as that inflammation healed each time it created more scar tissue until I finally obstructed completely. Hope my explanation helps.

Hugs!
Gail*Nanners*
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Writer
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 443
   Posted 2/11/2010 12:15 PM (GMT -7)   
The narrowing is initially caused by inflammation from active Crohn's disease. Often this inflammation can be treated by a course of steroids or enteral nutrition. The inflammation decreases or disappears, so that area of the intestines is no longer abnormally narrowed. However, if inflammation is longstanding you can develop thick, fibrous areas that no longer respond to antiinflammatory treatments. This is permanent narrowing. In this situation, sometimes the area of intestine can be stretched open endoscopically (often by inserting a little balloon and inflating it). In other cases, that won't work, and you need a resection (surgical removal of the section of intestine) to remove the narrowed area.

Zanne
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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 2/11/2010 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I have multiple resource books written by doctors on CD, so I don't remember which one I read this in, but I think it explains our insides in a really easy to understand way. Most intestines are like rubber bands, very thin and stretchy. Over time, ours become thickened and not so stretchy, so they are more like a rubber tire. Kind of a simplistic explanation but I use it when I am trying to explain to people who have no idea what CD is and what my dietary restrictions are or why I have any dietary restrictions at all. Imagine trying to push food through a rubber tire instead of a rubber band.
Suzanne

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!


Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....


CrohnieToo
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Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 9448
   Posted 2/11/2010 12:56 PM (GMT -7)   
Yup, yup, what Nanners said. She's right on! I experienced the same as Nanners, including the 20 year remission and then ..... I now have a high grade partial obstruction w/surgery almost guaranteed to be inevitable.
My computer says I need to upgrade my brain to be compatible with its new software.


artist guy
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 2/11/2010 4:57 PM (GMT -7)   
can i join your ditto club, I mirror nanners, I went 18 years before my second resection, the balloon thing worked, ill say just a little bit, the newer your cd is the better the balloon stretch works, ive had cd since 1970, so old wounds don't stretch that well, ill say this total obstruction is extremly painful,and emergency type situation

artist guy


NiceCupOfTea
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Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 8561
   Posted 2/11/2010 5:13 PM (GMT -7)   
To the folks who had a 20-year remission, do you mind if I ask you if you had any symptoms during that time, particularly towards the end? Or did the obstruction come totally out of the blue?

I find the thought of an obstruction coming out of nowhere after being well for 20 years a bit frightening :-/

vid53
Regular Member


Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 117
   Posted 2/11/2010 5:15 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for all the replies.

artist guy
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2010
Total Posts : 1373
   Posted 2/11/2010 5:22 PM (GMT -7)   
no, mine was  slow regression, I would have small what I call gas blockages, that would last 2-4 hr's then I would get rid of gas, then that area would be sore for aday or so, then those flares became more frequent, more pain med's to get me thru, finally anything i would eat it was painful, so I had elective surgery to prevent total obstrucion, and surgion removed 1 ft, the first tho was obstuction, emergency type, you will be able to tell by the pain, I hope that explains

artist guy


inflamed
Veteran Member


Date Joined Nov 2005
Total Posts : 1340
   Posted 2/12/2010 3:49 AM (GMT -7)   
Yup, what Nanners said. I didn't have a 20 year remission, but had undiagnosed CD with no symptoms for several years. Now have a lot of scar tissue to show for it. Doesn't automatically mean surgery. I just have to keep on meds to avoid adding inflammation on top of it and avoid foods that cause blockages.
Mom to a healthy Pentasa baby and pregnant with #2. 5+ years remission, woo hoo!


Nanners
Elite Member


Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 2/12/2010 7:45 AM (GMT -7)   
Nicecupoftea, for about the first 15 years I did pretty well. I had joint issues during that time, but I also had herniated discs in my neck. But about the last 5 years about once a year or so I would wind up in the ER with what they diagnosed as "gastritis attacks". The first one I ended up getting my appendix out as they thought it was that (was actually healthy). What I later figured out were those "gastritis" attacks were actually obstructions. I would mention that I had Crohns, but I think I was actually shooting myself in the foot, because I would say things like it hasn't given me problems for years. Hence, the gastritis diagnosis. During these attacks I would be given IV fluids, nausea meds and pain meds, and usually sent home a few hours later. On the visit to the ER that lead to my emergency surgery, I was treated the same, given meds and sent home. This time though the pain returned the next day just as fierce. Thats when they went into more testing and found that I was completed obstructed and two days later I had my surgery. Hope that helps.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease & Anxiety/Panic
Crohn's Disease for over 34 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium, Vit D, and Xanax prn. Resections in 2002 & 2005. Also diagnosed w/ Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, & Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Escalador
Regular Member


Date Joined Jul 2009
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 2/12/2010 2:17 PM (GMT -7)   
@Nanners same story here but in remission only for 5 years... i also thought those were gastritis attacks but they werent :))) thank god i managed to avoid surgery for now
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