Theresa, When you had your fistula, did nobody consider Crohn's? That almost screams Crohn's! Especially when combined with your history of BMs. I can certainly understand not wanting to put yourself through the testing involved in Dx for CD, but at some point, if you begin to suffer problems again, you really should do so.
Most of the literature out there about
CD talks all about
the horrible diarrhea that we Crohnies suffer. The reality is that this is a myth. Many of us suffer with constipation or alternate between constipation, diarrhea and normal stools.
When I began Enbrel for my AS, my GI told me that I might see improvements in my Crohn's as well. Although Enbrel is not considered a feasible treatment for CD, Humira and Remicade are and these meds are all closely related. It is quite possible that you are seeing the benefits of the Enbrel on your gut. However, Enbrel is really not the best option and therefore, if you do have CD, you could end up with further problems at some point in the future. Untreated Crohn's can bring about
a bunch of nasty problems, including more fistulas, stricturing, scar tissue and bleeding.
As far as how long it took for me to see improvement on Enbrel - well that's hard to pinpoint. I'd have to say that it was close to 3 months. However, at the time, I was also in undiagnosed thyroid failure and so I suffered from a multitude of muscle aches from that which may have contributed to the extended time it took for me to notice some improvement.
I hope that you continue to find relief, but caution you to consider following up with a GI.
Keah a.k.a. Wormy
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