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Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2004
Total Posts : 64
   Posted 2/13/2008 8:17 PM (GMT -7)   
Help! Can someone please explain to me how to tell when my D is being caused by crohns or ibs? i have this constant debate with my GI. My belief has always been tht if i hurt worse afterwards and the pain wakes me up at nite and it is a constant pain then it is crohns. On the flip side, if i have bms and feel better then it is ibs. Is this oversimplifying it? I get frustrated bc I dont feel that he hears me- i think he cares and because i havent had had to have surgeries or fistulas or perforations, i am not that bad off. And I know i am very lucky but it still sucks.. I would love to be able to eat food, workout at the gym, have some romantic time with my husband, feel comfortable in my bloated prednisione body, believe that i will get this all out of my system and be better than ever. i have amazing stress going on at home, work, with my 3yr old daughter, money, relationship issues and of course my mood swings and fears- exhaustion and supersensitivity in appearance an attitude. How does anyone else manage this? I have had numerous tests show that i have patches of mild to moderate inflammation spreadthrout the colon but he still tells me that that isnt so bad and he thinks it is ibs causing this and i just need to talk more pamine.. sigh- tried and loopy=- thanks for listening to my rambles.. any advice on how to get your dr to listen or take you seriously i very much appreciated.. :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Oct 2004
Total Posts : 3932
   Posted 2/13/2008 8:32 PM (GMT -7)   
      Do you HAVE CD & are wondering if your symptoms are IBS? Or are you undxed & possible victim of one or another.
    If you already have IBD, your IBS symptoms are caused by it. There does seem to be a curious fad in medicine in recent years to re-label may of our symptoms as due to IBS. BUNK! Its rubbish..
    If you are an undiagnosed patient, what are your signs & symptoms. If bleeding is present, you can pretty much bet against IBS.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 2/14/2008 12:20 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi Valorie,
I know it's frustrating not knowing what the D is caused by. I have been told I have neither IBD nor IBS because my D is somehow "outside the box" of those nice, tidy diagnoses (although in actuality, I'm sure we can agree that neither diagnosis is particularly "tidy"). Sometimes the diarrhea will wake me up at night, sometimes not. Some months I will lose 10 pounds and be a miserable, quivering heap on the floor; once in a while I feel like a normal person. Sometimes I get so dehydrated I can't stand up, other times I am thinking about signing up for an ultramarathon (or something like that).

The way I finally wrapped my head around this was thinking: most of the time, I have diarrhea. A lot. Sometimes a WHOLE lot (like 15-20 times a day). And it's not pleasant. No one disagrees with me there. And unfortunately it might just take a bunch of exhausting trial-and-error on your part to figure out what you can do to make it better for yourself. It's a terribly lonely feeling, but truly, you are not alone. The one thing your GI can do for you is to help you control the symptoms with medications. But there are many other things you can do beyond medicating that might help.

I think the key to communicating with your doc is to keep a good "log" (uh...pun intended?) of your symptoms and what you are doing to try to combat them (i.e., taking more Pamine, if that's what he recommends) and rating how "good" or "bad" your day is on a scale from 1-10. This is what I did at one point and it was helpful for me to attempt to track patterns. I never found a definitive pattern, but showing your GI that you are trying - or, better yet, letting him figure it out for himself based on what you record - might help him see exactly how debilitating the symptoms are for you.

Best of luck. Hang in there, and let us know how you're doing...
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4413
   Posted 2/14/2008 1:34 AM (GMT -7)   
I also get really confused about the whole IBS/Crohns stuff. I have had IBS all my life, but Crohn's only in the past 1 1/2 years or so. My doc says that my IBS did not "turn into" Crohns, that they are separate conditions and now I have both. Sarita, while your idea sounds good, it seems that medical treatment is different, depending on how things are labeled. For example, if I'm constipated, adding prednisone won't work unless it is due to inflammation somewhere. I alternate between D and C, and hate both. In the end, I guess I keep working at trying to find the right combo of diet, fiber, probiotics, and Crohn's meds that will work. Haven't gotten there yet!!! Valorie, it would be good if you can have an open discussion with your doc...he may care about you and be taking you seriously, but just hasn't hit on the best treatment plan, and you have to keep working together to find it. good luck!
49 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007
currently taking Pentasa 2750 mg- 9pills/day and on and off Prednisone for flares

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