IBS or IBD with mucus and joint pain

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 384
   Posted 3/7/2009 2:42 PM (GMT -6)   
Hi, I have had severe Crohn's for almost 10 years now. And I posted my question below on the Crohn's forum and was just hoping that someone with IBS may have some imput too.
My question is actually about my twin sister (we think we are fraternal, test results were lost when we were born).
For the past 7 years, she has had bouts of stomach pains, some diarreha, constipation, mucus, joint pain, low grade fevers and an overall feeling of yucky. She had a sigmoidoscopy 7 years ago and her HMO primay doctor told her she had Proctitis and when she has had flare-ups he treated her with enemas. He sent her for a colonoscopy with a G.I., and his findings were no Crohn's, Colitis or Proctitis.
Her primary doctor (who I don't have a lot of confidence in) still tells her she has Proctitis, so every time she doesn't feel well, she believes that this is what it is. I understand that he has come to this conclusion because of me, and we have a brother, neice, and nephew with IBD.
She went for another colonoscopy yesterday with the same G.I. who performed the first one, and again, she had remarkable results with no evidence of any past or current imflamation. The G.I. assured me that he would have seen some type of scare tissue or evidence if her symptoms were caused by IBD even if she is currently not in a flare-up. He  believes that she has Irritable Bowel Syndrome and that the symptoms are so similar that it can be hard to tell the difference. When I shared with him what her primary doctor has told me, he just shook his head...kind of in disbelief.
My sister is still confidenced that the reason the G.I. is insistent that she does not have IBD, is because he has never scoped her during one of her flare-ups.   
I would appreciate any feedback that anyone has. Thank you so much!!
P.S. I didn't think that you could have mucus or joint pain with Irritable Bowel Syndrome?? Does anyone know?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 3/7/2009 7:46 PM (GMT -6)   
There is no known connection between IBS and joint pain, HOWEVER, nothing says you can't have two unrelated things wrong with you at once.  It could be a coincidence that she has joint pain (maybe from arthritis) and bowel problems at the same time.
However, there is something else that she needs to consider.  They recently found that ALL autoimmune diseases are linked genetically.  That you have Crohn's increases her chance of having ANY autoimmune disease, not just Crohn's.  She could be having joint paint from rheumatoid arthritis or fibromyalgia (it can be hard to tell the differece between them, because one's in the muscle and one's in the joint, but it's hard to pinpoint the source of the pain because it radiates).  Both of those autoimmune disorders also have bowel problems as a secondary symptom, especially when you are having a flare. 

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 384
   Posted 3/7/2009 8:33 PM (GMT -6)   
Thank you so much for your response. She was tested for Rheumatoid arthritis recently, which came back negative. After researching today, I found, as you mentioned, information about Fibromyalgia. I am going to encourage her to have more blood drawn.

Thanks again.
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