Unfortunately, autoimmune disease doesn't just affect one part of the body. I had arthristis before the onset of Crohn's. When I was in my teens, my knees would swell up and have to be drained every year or two. Some days I couldn't walk down stairs for the pain in my knees and hip. After many many years of pain and no help from rheumy's other than NSAIDS that my stomach couldn't tolerate, I went to a new doctor and asked him to please put a name to the arthritis - and he did - inflamatory arthristis associated with Crohn's. The good news was that it was not crippling, just painful. I exercise for at least 20 minutes most mornings to keep my muscles toned. My pain is in the muscles surrounding the joints, even surrounding my ribs. During the past 33 years, I have also developed episcleritis in one eye, ote
openia from steriods and not being able to tolerate calcium supplements or anything with lactose. I guess a yogurt a day wasn't enough.
To all of you that have been diagnosed the past few years- you are lucky that so much has been learned about this disease. Back in the '70's, so little was known and few drugs were available to treat Crohns. Keep supporting the Crohns & Colitis Foundation so research can continue. I'm praying for some major breakthrough while I'm still kickin'!