IBS or Crohns?

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Mississippi_girl
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/17/2007 12:10 PM (GMT -7)   
I am new to this board, and have some questions as to whether I may be experiencing Crohn's rather than the IBS I have been diagnosed with.  My primary symptom is of course diarrhea; it comes on within an hour of eating, and is "violent" (accompanied by extremely painful cramps and forceful gas) and urgent (cannot be held - have had one accident and lots of near misses.)  I was put on glycopyrrolate by an FNP to help w/ the diarrhea; this helps somewhat, as far as frequency, but now, I am experiencing a kind of constipation; it's as if the same chaos is going on inside, it just can't get out.  The cramps (usually mid-abdomen to lower right side) and bowel sounds begin, and it becomes an all-day process to move first the harder stool, then progressivly looser until completely water.  Occasionally, I have an extreme cramp, I call it a "stitch" in my left side, under my ribcage; it hurts to the point of making it hard to breathe and move.  After an hour or two of this pain, a bowel sound that is so loud it is audible to people who aren't even standing next to me occurs, followed by the urgent diarrhea.  Another really worrisome symptom that has started in the last few months and has occurred about six times is that during these awful painful episodes of sitting there, crying in pain and waiting for it all to pass, I get an immediate urge to throw up.  No nausea, just all of a sudden, I have to throw up.  It is usually yellow and burns coming up.  Also, I have seen bright specks of blood on the tissue from small splits, which also burn like fire when the liquid stool hits them.  I feel out of control, trapped by my symptoms, and really frightened.  PS, my oldest brother had ulcerative colitis and had a complete colostomy at age 22. (I am 42 now; had symptoms for about 18 months; treated for IBS for about 6 months.)  Any help or advice is appreciated.  I am scheduled to see a gastro- later this month, but am so frightened  - I would like some information. I am especially concerned to know whether any of you have experienced the vomiting, and also if you have been prescribed glycopyrrolate.  Thank you for this site and your help.

kim123
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Date Joined Jul 2006
Total Posts : 1201
   Posted 8/17/2007 2:40 PM (GMT -7)   

It's really hard to know without having a colonoscopy, of course. I had colitis for 8 years with those symptoms, along with mucous and bleeding. Lots of pain that I thought I was going to pass out while sitting on the potty. Then afterward, very weak and had to lie down til the pain passed. Nauseaus a lot of the time too. I am know symptom free.

I am going to suggest that you eliminate all sugar, grains and milk (eat lots of veggies, no corn(really a grain), mushrooms, or potatoes though; fruits such as all berries, green apples, grapefruit,lemons, limes if you can tolerate them, all meats, fish, poultry, eggs, nuts (no peanuts) and see if you don't notice any improvement. Gut problems often have a fungal etiology. If your problems are fungal related, and you starve the yeast/fungus, you will get relief of symptoms. It's tough to follow an antifungal diet, but consider it an experiment of sorts. Within a week or so, if you are feeling better, then you will know you have a fungal problem. If you are eating the Standard American Diet, you are feeding the fungus and won't get better. Grains are "commonly" contaminated with fungal poisons. Corn is ALWAYS contaminated with fungal poisons. Were you ever on antibiotics?- again, a fungal toxin. Also, all my doctors told me changing my diet wouldn't affect my symptoms...well, they were wrong. Within 2 weeks of following the program, I felt so much better that I knew my colitis was fungal related. If you want more info, you can ask here, or email me and I'll forward you the links about fungus and diet. Take care.

Kim :)


dbab
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Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 8/17/2007 2:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I agree. It's hard to say which one you have since all of your symptoms could point to one or the other. A scope would be the best thing for you to do although sometimes Crohn's if located in the small bowel cannot be seen on a colonoscopy. Best thing to do is write all your symptoms down and talk to your doctor. Good luck.
"Des"
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Co-Moderator ~ Lupus Forum 
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Klonopin PRN, Miralax 17g, Supplements


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Mandolen
Regular Member


Date Joined Aug 2006
Total Posts : 186
   Posted 8/22/2007 8:37 AM (GMT -7)   
Bless your heart, you sure do sound like me!
I actually have Crohn's in my jujenum, terminal ileum, and ascending colon. I also have a severe case of IBS-D as well as gastroparesis (paralyed stomach)...sometimes there can be more than just one thing wrong with us, and they all have to be treated differently.
 
I would suggest maybe researching a capsule endoscopy (or pill cam test as it's commonly known). This was the first step that showed something was wrong, other than my symptoms. (I had already had a clear colonoscopy a month prior) I then did a blood test called Prometheus IBD-First Step which came back positive for CD, and then another scope which showed Severe Crohn's.
 
Sometimes the tests can be tricky, so that's why I suggest the Capsule endoscopy (but there are risks to it, so make sure you research!) to rule out anything in the small bowel.
 
Best to you,
M.
 
(Also, what about other symptoms that can come along with an auto-immune disease that you might not have with IBS? For instance, hair loss, excessive fatigue, joint pain, rashes, mouth ulcers...these don't indicate an AI disease, but may help your doctor steer in the right direction)
Diagnosed with Crohn's 5.2006 by: Capsule Endoscopy, Prometheus Labs IBD-First Step
7.2006-Dx'd with Severe CD by Colonoscopy (Have had 3 scopes in 1 year!)
Gastroparesis, Severe IBS-D
Remicade, Prevacid, Colazol, Lotronex
 
 
 


Mississippi_girl
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/23/2007 1:24 PM (GMT -7)   
Thanks for your words of encouragement - I had my colonoscopy and an EGD today, both of which were clear; but by dr said there is still some concern for Crohns, mainly because of the vomiting and my family history (brother with UC) - he said the vomiting is NOT related to IBS, and that Crohn's can be "sneaky", so he has ordered a small bowel x-ray of some sort for next Friday (they said I would probably have to eat some oatmeal or something w/ some contrast in it - ??)  I do have some other worrisome symptoms:  joint pain, mainly in shoulders, knees, and lower back; mouth ulcers which I've had as long as I can remember; and I my have a skin tag - I haven't discussed it w/ the dr. yet, but from descriptions I've read, sounds much like one.  I thank all of you again for your words of experience and encouragement.  I know that whatever comes, it's all in God's hands anyway, so I'm doing my best to have a spirit of faith and not a spirit of fear!  I will keep you posted.

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/23/2007 2:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Have they checked your gall bladder with a hida scan? You have too much wrong with you for that to be the only culprit, I think, but pain in your arms and vomiting and D are all signs of it; you could have that on top of something else. "Nothing says you can't have more than one thing wrong with you at once."

Has anyone talked to you about fibromyalgia, which can explain the joint pains and even the disrupted GI tract? It took them a long time to diagnose my mother with that. Her sister and an uncle have/had Crohn's. Those autoimmune disease--whatever flavor--run strong in families. Even though you may not have UC like your brother, you can still wind up with fibro, Crohn's, rheumatoid arthirits, etc. Sounds like your doctor is already thinking along those lines, but you do need to make sure he's looking at fibro too because even though it's not predominantly a gut problem, it can tear the guts up (just ask my mother).

And has anyone tested you for food allergies? Some allergies are so bad, they can cause your kind of symptoms. Just a note, however. As I understand it, when you get a positive for an allergy on one of those tests, it can be relied upon. However, you can get false nagatives. In some cases this may be due to the fact that you don't have an ACTUAL allergy (which has very narrow criteria that have to be met), but your guts have a non-allergy reaction all the same. This is called having an intolerance. If you can't get the allergy testing done, or everything on it came up negative, you might try an elimination diet to see if anything helps. Some common food allergies and intolerances include:

Dairy (including the protein caesin, which is a frequent additive to a lot of processed foods)
Gluten (found in wheat and some other grain products)
Caffeine (including decaf coffee)
Artifical sweetners (Equal, Splenda, Sweet N'Low, Twin)
Preservatives, food coloring, MSG, misc. pesticides and other chemicals (go organic to avoid all of these at once)
Shellfish and regular fish (some people are only allergic to shellfish, while some can't do them or regular fish)
Peanuts
Soy
Sugar (cane sugar, molasses, honey)

You already should not consume any sugar alcohols (mannitol, xylitol, sorbitol) because they are very bad on the guts of everyone. The first five are the most common complaints here on these boards. Most people already know if they are allergic to fish or peanuts or soy, but discovering dairy and gluten seem to take longer. Other things to just avoid are alcohol and carbonation. With your guts, those are good to avoid even if you have a cause for your gut problems that's not an intolerance.

Post Edited (Keriamon) : 8/23/2007 3:18:59 PM (GMT-6)


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/23/2007 2:22 PM (GMT -7)   
I should add that your Doctor is right: Crohn's can indeed hide it's visible symptoms somewhere where the scope can't find them.

And, if I remember correctly, gluten allergy--Celiac's Disease--is also an auto-immune disease.

dbab
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 4151
   Posted 8/23/2007 2:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Keri, I'm confused... my rheumatologist doc told me that even though fibromyalgia commonly accompanies an autoimmune disease, it is not autoimmune. I asked him that when I was getting diagnosed because I had auto-antibodies and I asked him if it could be fibro instead of Lupus and he said no because there are no auto antibodies in fibro because its not autoimmune. Interesting... I may have to ask my other docs about this... now you got me curious!!
"Des"
Co-Moderator ~ IBS Forum
Co-Moderator ~ Lupus Forum 
Dx: IBS 1989, Diverticulosis 2004, Idiopathic Acute Colitis 2006, UCTD 2007
Meds: Plaquenil 400mg, Chlorzoxazone 500mg, Lyrica 50mg, Protonix 40mg, Naproxen 1000mg, Klonopin PRN, Miralax 17g, Supplements


http://www.healingwell.com/donate


Mississippi_girl
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/23/2007 3:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Keri-I had my gallbladder removed 12-05-05, which is actually when I started having severe D (which of course I attributed to the surgery - except for the fact that it continued and worsened for 18 months, with added symptoms along the way) - I have had one rheumatologist diagnose me with fibromyalgia, and two other docs say I didn't have it - so who knows, right?? My mom has lupus, but has not had a flare in more than six years - and then there's my bro w/ the UC - my family history is crazy. I just have a "gut" feeling (no pun intended!!) about Crohn's - and can't help but be scared about it. But whatever comes, comes, and I will wait on the Lord to see me through. Thanks for your advice - I am keeping a notebook from all your input! MS girl

Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/24/2007 8:35 AM (GMT -7)   
Ah! If you have post-gall bladder diarrhea, get your GI to give you a prescription for Welchol; he should have heard of it by now. Welchol absorbs the excess bile in your digestive tract and keeps you from having (or having as much) D. It fixed me and my m-i-l right up. Some others on this board are on it or its counterpart, Questran, and they can attest that they really help for that problem--better than anything else.

I recommened the Welchol over the Questran in general because Welchol is a pill and the Questran is a powder that you have to mix with water, which isn't nearly as convenient, in my opinion. Some people also complain that it gives them gas, which I have never heard people on Welchol complain of. I really can't recommend it enough for people with post-GB D.

Get you some of that and then see what happens. I don't think bile D is causing your joint pains, but if you can get the D cleared up, that might make finding out what else is wrong with you easier. The other thing to try, is Caltrate 600 w/ vitamin D. You can get it in generic at most any store for pretty cheap. Inape here on the boards did all the research and found that that is the most constipating form of calcium on the market. That's all she needs to take for her post-GB D, but I and my m-i-l and some others are worse off/have more D, so we need the prescription specifically. But, I also take the calcium in addition to the Welchol because it seems to help the Welchol work (so I don't have to take as much of it) and because it seems to keep my intestines healthy and more-or-less happy. Taking calcium stopped an unexplained bout of pain that I was having a couple of summers ago; I think I had irritated my intestines due to too much bile (I was off the Welchol) and sugar alcohols. The calcium got rid of that pain and together with the Welchol again, I quit having D daily.

I'm pretty sure that I read that fibro was auto-immune. There's a fibro board here at Healing Well; they'll know for certain. They can probably also list out all of the lovely symptoms that go along with it so you can kind of see if you fit or not. There's a Crohn's board as well.

Mississippi_girl
New Member


Date Joined Aug 2007
Total Posts : 14
   Posted 8/25/2007 11:15 AM (GMT -7)   
How long can post-gallbladder D last? Could all that I'm going thru be just the result of having my gallbladder removed? I mean, I expected some change in bowel following the surgery, and talked to several folks who had the same, but I thought it would clear up eventually - how long should it take?? Plus, it just seems too severe/dramatic - it's way beyond your average upset stomach kind of D. Maybe I've scared myself into worrying too much over something that will resolve itself, or maybe there's Crohns underlying it all which led to my gallbladder problems in the first place - I'm so confused! I have also read of other less common symptoms w/ Crohns that I have already had, ie: kidney stones, blood clots (DVT), neuropathy, joint pain, mouth sores, etc. - I've just attributed all this to just getting older and "falling apart"! I will be so glad when I'm done with all the tests and have some answers, or I hope I do anyway. BTW, the nurse prac. at my GI doc just prescribed Questran, along with a pill (Librax, I think), and daily fiber supplement. We'll see how all this works - so far so good. Thanks.

pb4
Elite Member


Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20576
   Posted 8/26/2007 1:50 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey mississippi_girl
 
Your symptoms do seem to mimic CD, especially your concerns about the skin tags, here's a link that shows pics of hemheroides and a little further down shows a pic of periananl crohns skin tags (found just outside the anus)...I have both crohns and IBS and crohns can definitely be sneaky like your GI said...here's the link...
 
 
 
:)



My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)


Keriamon
Veteran Member


Date Joined Jun 2005
Total Posts : 2976
   Posted 8/27/2007 10:45 AM (GMT -7)   
D from a lack of a gall bladder can last the rest of your life and can be quite severe. My grandmother told me that my great-aunt had had hers out for years and years and still had D just as soon as she ate anything (her husband used to remind her to make sure a place had a working bathroom before she ate because she couldn't make it through a meal without having to go). She's on medicine for it now (not certain what med, but probably Questran or Welchol) and it's much better. I had mine out in 2003 and I have to take Welchol or face having D frequently.

Again, this doesn't explain all of your symptoms--which probably means you do have something else wrong with you--but it may account for a lot of the bowel symptoms.
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