nervous system/ stress question

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Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted Today 3:27 PM (GMT -7)   
I found a copy of "Digestion and Diet" at my GI's this morning. The article on the back page is titled "What's behind the GI symptoms of people with nerve dysfunction?". It goes on to discuss how the autonomic (unconscious) nervous system controls the pace at which your body processes food. It says that people with diarrhea should be tested for possible "rapid stomach emptying".

Has anyone been tested for this? I would think they'd just give you a small bowel follow through... but I'm not sure. What qualifies as "rapid"?

When I googled "autonomic nerve dysfunction" all kinds of things came up, and an alarming number of symptoms match my own (strange blood pressure differences between sitting down and standing up, tingling in my limbs, etc...all stuff the doctor has shrugged off).

Has anyone on here been diagnosed with autonomic nerve dysfunction? From what I've read, it almost sounds like an anti-stress pill would do me as much good as the Remicade...?

Any thoughts, opinions or experiences would be welcome!

Blue Velvyt
Regular Member

Date Joined Sep 2006
Total Posts : 194
   Posted Today 4:33 PM (GMT -7)   
Strange you should mention this.....
I broke a disc in my back at work, L-4, L-5 and caused some extensive nerve damage along my spine, left leg and sciatica. Joy eh? :P
Anyway, months after the injury I started getting really sick, and then sicker, a year later they found crohns....
Point being, I have multiple independent doctors and kaiser doctors who all agree on one thing, they say the extensive nerver damage triggered my crohns.....
I mean thats a real sum up, as I had ulcers, stomach erosion, etc before the diagnosis was official, they say it was a domino effect, one thing leading to another making the crohns more likely to appear.
Anyone else have a doctor explain that nerve damage could have set off disease?
I dont know what to say about the explanation other then if multiple docs agree then Im inclined to believe....
They also told me the disease manifested for other reasons as well but they could not definitively say it was one thing over another that casued it to rear its ugly head...
so there ya are, what do ya make of that....

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7122
   Posted Today 6:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I received a diagnosis of "rapid transit time" when I had a capsule endoscopy [CE]. The camera capsule traveled from mouth to anus in 6 hrs 52 mins. The test was to look at the small bowel and was really a waste because it went through the small bowel too quickly to take adequate numbers of photos.

Not long after having the CE I started taking Neurontin for peripheral neuropathy of the lower extremeties. I have small fiber damage/loss. Very interestingly, my diarrhea slowed WAY down when I began the Neurontin. Anyway, my neurologist has warned me that my type of neuropathy can effect many aspects. He is concerned about my dropping bP when I stand. Basically, the nerves aren't telling the blood vessels to constrict properly to get the blood back up. He mentioned having to possibly put me on meds to get my BP up.

Let me know what else you are told about this.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted Today 6:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Very interesting...

Thank you for your responses. These will help me formulate questions for the doc about my own situation...

I wish I had more answers to give, rather than just questions, but I will be sure to post anything else I discover on the subject.

Blue Velvyt - I don't have a broken disc to blame the nerve damage on, but I have been on high doses of remicade for the last two years. I'm wondering if there is a connection between my immunomodulator and the weird nerve symptoms. I (as well as my doctors) have chalked the onset of my crohn's up to a combination of stress and heredity (CD magically appeared my final semester as a senior in college, and my grandfather never ate out).

Ides - I remember my mom saying that she had peripheral neuropathy when she was receiving a particularly wicked type of chemotherapy for her breast cancer. Her finger tips would go numb and things like that. When you say you have peripheral neuropathy of the lower extremeties, what exactly does that mean symptom-wise? Do your legs get tingly or weak? is Nuerontin specifically for your type of peripheral neuropathy? That IS very interesting what you said about the D slowing way down when you started taking it. Interestingly enough, my brother suffers from avascular necrosis of the hips (he had to have two replacements before he hit 30 year old!). I've never met anyone else who even knew what avascular necroses was. Does that run in your family, to your knowledge?

Sorry to pester you all with more questions, but I feel like I'm digging my way to china for an answer here, and every little scoop along the way might help. I will post the article that sparked this conversation in its entirety in my next post.

Thanks again guys.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jul 2005
Total Posts : 733
   Posted Today 6:55 PM (GMT -7)   
As stated, the article is from "Digestion & Diet", Health Monitor, Fall 2007. I would provide a link to the web page, but I couldn't find the article on the web for the life of me. Just in case:

What's News Now
What's behind the GI Symptoms of people with nerve dysfunction?

The autonomic nervous system regulates such basic involuntary body functions as blood pressure and heart rate. In some people, this regulator goes haywire. The problem may be due to disease, or it may occur for no apparent reason. The nerve dysfunction can affect a number of organs.

Trouble in the Gut
One area that may be impacted is the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. A person may experience nausea and vomiting, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, and abdominal pain. The underlying GI problem may be that food passes through the stomach more quickly or more slowly than normal. In fact, gastroparesis, in which the stomach takes too long to empty its contents, is a complication in people with diabetes. It develops when nerves that help control the stomach's activity are damaged by high blood sugar.
Many doctors have assumed that in people with autonomic nerve dysfunction, GI symptoms are due to delayed stomach emptying. But some studies show that too-rapid stomach emptying can also be a problem.
To get a better idea of how a dysfunctional autonomic nervous system affects stomach emptying, investigators at the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee studied 61 people. After fasting overnight, the participants ate a meal that included cubes of chicken liver specially tagged so that they could be monitored with a scanning device as they passed through the GI tract.

A Surprising Finding
Of the study participants, 17 had normal stomach-emptying time, while 17 experience delayed stomach emptying, and 27 rapid emptying. More people with rapid stomach emptying had diarrhea (70%) compared with people who had normal or delayed stomach emptying.
The lesson of this research, the investigators say, is that people with autonomic nerve dysfunction and GI symptoms shouldn't automatically be treated with drugs for delayed stomach emptying. Instead, people with diarrhea should be tested for possible rapid stomach emptying. And if a person with GI symptoms is found to have rapid stomach emptying, he or she should probably be evaluated for an autonomic nerve problem.
~From the American Journal of Gastroenterology

--end of article.

Forum Moderator

Date Joined Nov 2003
Total Posts : 7122
   Posted Today 10:35 PM (GMT -7)   
Let's avascular necrosis is/was caused by my Crohn's. There have been a few articles written about AVN being a rare manifestation of CD. My GI feels that my many years of uncontrolled [read: undiagnosed] CD led to many of the rare extraintestinal manifestations of Crohn's that I have. Peripheral neuropathy is another complication I have from CD.

My neuropathy symptoms started out as that tingling sensation when a hand or foot goes to sleep. It would go away if I removed my shoes and socks. Then the tingling progressed to numbness, also relieved by removing said shoes and socks. Then it got so I could not have bed linens touching my feet because it would cause the tingling and numbness. Then the final straw that caused my husband to demand I demand some testing is when I started talking about sawing my legs off to get rid of the burning pain. I had this horrendous "fire" in my feet and lower legs. Nothing made it go away. I could not walk the length of the grocery aisle without sitting on the aisle floor and tearing off my shoes. Also, taking a shower would cause the fire like pain when the water touched my feet. Even to this day, temperature changes, like removing my socks, causes pretty significant pain and a weird blotchy rash to erupt on my feet. any doctor that sees me take off my socks and watches what happens is astounded the air can do that.

Hope that tell you how dependent I am on the Neurontin to control my pain - I refuse to have any procedure where you are required to take nothing by mouth for more than 8 hours if they won't let me have my neurontin. My neuropathy pain is so intense I don't EVER want to go back there.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, diffuse connective tissue disease, Sjogren's Syndrome ?

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