New Member w/questions

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New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/9/2008 2:48 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey everyone! Just wanted to ask a few q's! I was DX with IBS 5 years ago and have been unhappy with how quick they were to throw that at me. I'm wanting to know the differences between IBS and Crohn's and maybe even Celiac if anyone knows...
There have been times I've been sick enough I was put on Prednisone which helped a lot. I seem to be fine for the longest time, and then I just don't know what hits me. 4 days ago, my BM's began changing from normal/slight constipation to sticky, tar-like, frothy, with undigested food and mucus and dark streaks, to now being nothing more than ground-up food. Its painful. I'm dizzy, tired, weak, and just plain weird. This isn't the first time, so I guess I shouldn't complain too much, but it still sucks.
I'd like to add that I already have an autoimmune disease of the thyroid and I know that there are links that that and other autoimmune disorders. I'm just lost and feeling really sick...if anyone can share their tree of knowledge, I would be so happy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2006
Total Posts : 1169
   Posted 4/9/2008 2:56 PM (GMT -7)   
What yuo are describing could indicate bleeding high up in the G|I tract, which is definitely something you want to consult a physician about. You don't say whether you have ever had a colonoscopy, which is the tool of choice in diagnosing Crohns (or ruling it out and going with IBS.) Basically Crohns is an autoimmune disease of the givestive tracts that features inflammation and damage from that. IBS is less likely to show up on scope and is more diagnosed by symptom. I don't believe bleeding is common in IBS (or celiac) and that would point more to Crohns or even ulcerative colitis. Bottom line is it may be wise to consult a gastroenterologist for a full diagnostic workup.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/9/2008 3:06 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, I did have a colonoscopy done July 2005. It was during one of my most memorable episodes, when I was also put on prednisone. I was really sick. I had swollen glands and a persistant fever. I had the scope done a couple months later, which found and removed a polyp from my colon. It was not attributed to any bleeding. They scoped to my ilium and found no other answers they could give me. I know Crohn's has many areas of the digestive system that it can attack? Is it possible to have a scope done and be able to rely on it because the crohns is predominantly in the small intestine? Also, is it possible to miss crohn's during a scope because of it being in early stages? I'm asking because if this is so, I will take more action to find answers through specific testing. I don't want to ask for certain testing to be done unless I think it is necessary or my GI is willing to take the time to see if I need them. It would help so much to know of other's experiences... :)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4384
   Posted 4/9/2008 3:11 PM (GMT -7)   
Ask for the camera swallow is the best way to find Crohn's in your small intestine. A barium swallow (small bowel follow- throug) would also be helpful. You can have a normal colonoscopy, but still have Crohn's in your small intestine.
49 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's in small intestine and terminal ileum Sept-Oct. 2007. Also have IBS, and had Salmonella Dec. '07
currently taking Pentasa- 8 250mg pills per day, Cipro 1 week/month, Metamucil, probiotics

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2004
Total Posts : 422
   Posted 4/9/2008 3:29 PM (GMT -7)   
I was Dx with IBS prior to being Dx with Crohn's. I thought the same thing you did - they just kind of threw that out at me with no "real" testing. Actually, I don't remember them every sending me for anything but a barium swallow but that's because I was having reflux issues. They just based the IBS Dx off my symptoms of having D a lot. Plus, my doctor is a family member and he knows that IBS runs in the family so you know he was just booting me out with an easy Dx!

I can remember being SO sick with D all the time...every time I put food in my mouth, I was in the bathroom with D immediately...and I was going to the bathroom sometimes "just because" throughout the day and in the middle of the night. The D hit fast, too.

And I remember telling girlfriends about my IBS, saying I didn't want to go with them somewhere that day because of this IBS that was really giving me a rough time. And I remember one girl saying, "OMG, get over it! I have IBS, too...what's the big deal? You pull over, hit the bathroom at McDonald's and go on your way!". So I said, "Well, then you and I must have MUCH different forms of IBS because if you had what I had, you wouldn't say it wasn't a big deal!" Oooh, that made me MAD.

Less than a year later I was diagnosed with Crohn's. It all started when I told my family member doctor that I'd been waking up in the middle of the night with D. He was like, "OH! I didn't realize your bowels had been waking you UP! Well, then - we need to send you to a Gastroenterologist."

So off I went to the GI having a small bowel follow through, abdominal CT scan and Colonoscopy. The Crohn's was Dx based primarily on the results of the Colonoscopy and a biopsy done during that. My colon is scattered with deep ulcers and the biopsy showed some kind of "marker" that is usually specific to Crohn's patients.

I have had mild symptoms of Crohn's compared to many people on this board. I've had no real bleeding or fistulas/strictures etc. Everyone is different. I would certainly think Crohn's could be "missed" in a scope. It's my understanding that doctors are simply looking and comparing symptoms that you're having to determine what'cha got. I was tested for Celiac Disease but it came back negative. There's not really a "test" for Crohn's...just markers within the blood and tissue samples that tend to lean toward Crohn's. I might be uninformed about that, though...if so, I'm sure someone will come along and clarify that.

One thing I would specifically ask your doctor to give you is a breath test for SMALL BOWEL BACTERIA OVERGROWTH. I read online yesterday that 67% of patients who are diagnosed with IBS actually have SBBO instead! And it can be cleared up by a simple round of antibiotics. But most doctors find it "easier" to just throw IBS out there if there are no other actual symptoms to explain anything. Google SBBO and read about it and see if it describes you! :) SBBO is also attributable to FATIGUE which would explain your tired, weak, dizzy feelings, too. Just an idea!
Diagnosed in October, 2004 at age 33.
Currently taking Colazal, Nexium, One-A-Day multivitamin, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Vitamin A
Secondary conditions: mouth ulcers, joint pain, extreme fatigue

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 492
   Posted 4/9/2008 3:45 PM (GMT -7)   
I just had my Colonoscopy done two weeks ago and my GI said that my colon looked great but that didn't mean I don't have inflammation up higher past my resection point that he couldn't see. So, no just having a negative scope doesn't mean you do not had CD.
Hope you feel better very soon!
Dx'd with crohn's 1983, resections 83,85 and 89 Double Strictureplasty 2005, Dx'd COPD 2000, Psoriasis 2002 and Fibromyalgia 2005.
Currently takeing Humira, Pentasa, Lomotil, Elavil, Sinemet, Skelaxin, Advair, Abuterol, Oxycodone and Xanax as needed

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 6
   Posted 4/9/2008 3:58 PM (GMT -7)   
Hmm...I didn't think that diagnoses could be so cut and dry and simple. It's not that I'm looking to self-diagnose myself. Its that I just know so little about what all this is like for others and I know that I have not done enough testing yet for me to feel comfortable accepting my IBS Dx. The fact that I also have autoimmune thyroid disease also makes me think a little more. I don't think I'm wrong in thinking that fever, swollen glands together with other symptoms may indicate something a little different from IBS. I think I should do the barrium swallow and upper GI scope. If I do that, and then follow through with my regular colonoscopies (because of polyp being removed in 2005), I will then be able to relax and know I have the right answers.
Thank you for making me feel like I'm not alone in feeling so horrible!

I hope you are all finding yourselves feeling well rather than spending too much time in the loo!
Minds Are Like Parachutes. They Only Work When open.

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease Dx in 2005
IBS Dx in 2005
BiPolar Dx in 2005
Borderline Personality Disorder Dx in 2005
Post Traumatic Stress Disorder Dx in 2007

Currently taking Lithium, Dicetel, and Eltroxin

Never Take Life Too Seriously. Nobody Makes It Out Alive Anyway.

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