complexion- white as a ghost

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Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 1/9/2009 8:47 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey all.  My daughter is the one who  is 15 adn newly dx.
She is home from the hospital and takign her oral steriods until we see the doc.  She seems to be feeling pretty well, but this morning I noticed her complexion is as white as a sheet of paper.
What causes that?  Is it a lack of nutrients?  Which ones?  Lack of iron, low hemoglobin?
DX in 2000,  on Pentasa only :)
daughter age 15 newly dx with Crohn's

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2007
Total Posts : 1284
   Posted 1/9/2009 8:50 PM (GMT -7)   
It could be the prednisone doing it, but... I dunno....

Prednisone usually makes me look all rosy-cheeked.... And poofy-cheeked, too...
I think I am being picked on by life, sometimes. But's that okay. Life and I are good buddies... I know life doesn't mean no harm. It just is the way it is. I can accept that.

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   Posted 1/9/2009 9:21 PM (GMT -7)   
Paleness can be just a person's normal skin tone OR it can be a sign of other things. The first that pops into my mind is anemia. If she is losing blood somewhere then she might become pale. When was the last time they did a CBC on her to check her hemoglobin and hematocrit? Also, some people become pale when they have a chronic illnness such as Crohn's because they aren't absorbing nutrients.

Whatever might be causing her paleness [also known as pallor], because of the sudden nature of the change in skin tone. I would let her doctor know right away. At the very least they need to check and make sure she isn't severely anemic.
Moderator Crohn's Disease Forum
CD, Ankylosing Spondylitis, lupus, small fiber peripheral neuropathy, avascular necrosis, peripheral artery disease, degenerative disc disease, and a host of other medical problems.

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 289
   Posted 1/9/2009 10:55 PM (GMT -7)   
My husband comments on my paleness all the time.  I think it is due to not enough time outside, because I don't think I am anemic. 
Normal for everyone will be different.  Just keep an eye on your daughter so you can notice any changes.
I have the ability of single-minded determination and accurate project focu....Hey, look, a cat!
Crohn's and UC are pretty darn crappy, but if you can't laugh at yourself, you'll cry. 
I'd much rather laugh.
2001 Dx'd with UC.  No remission.  5/2008 surgery, removal of 6" of left side colon.  Dx changed to Crohn's.  Remission for 8-9wks after surgery, symptoms returning after resuming 6MP.

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Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 832
   Posted 1/10/2009 2:48 AM (GMT -7)   
i was white as a ghost in October it turned out that i had no iron in my body, i had enough blood but no iron..
24 year old female

Diagonsed with Crohns disease in December 2008..

Medication - Asacol, Remicade, Entocort

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 4527
   Posted 1/10/2009 3:34 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi I would get her blood checked for B-12 as alot of us have low B-12. As mentioned I usually get rosy checked too but now I am not on pred. I get pale when my B-12 is low. Also wanted to mention is she taking calcium and vitamin D for her bones ,I take a good multily vitamin. Those intestines don't always absorb nutrients as they should.How is she feeling any changes?lol gail
Hallarious woman over 50 ,CD ,IBS 27 years--resection,fistula's,obstructions,hemmies,and still gail

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Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 1/10/2009 8:24 AM (GMT -7)   
I think she should get some bloods run. Sounds like anemia to me too.
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Anxiety/Panic Forum
Been living with Crohn's Disease for 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, and Calcium and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and Osteoarthritis and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 1/10/2009 9:23 AM (GMT -7)   
She has always had a pale color, but seemed to worsen in October when she was losing lots of blood with her stools. she started prednisone orally on December 23rd. Didn't seem to take. She doesn't note any blood loss at present. She was hospitalized on 1/1/09 as her symptoms didn't improve on the oral steroids.. IV prednisone/ TPNdid give her color in her face that I haven't seen in years. I was so happy. Left hospital on 1/5/09 and returned to taking oral prednisone. Weight gain is continuing. Yesterday the palor returned, though and she is EXHAUSTED. Eats like a pig and weight is stable at 84 for 3 days straight!!!!!
Will go to town adn get her some iron, calcium, b-12, spinach, and red meat!! See if that helps. Monday will call the doctor. She sees him on Thursday which is good. We will discuss her future treatment plans at that time.
Thanks for all who replied. It has been very helpful.
DX in 2000,  on Pentasa only :)
daughter age 15 newly dx with Crohn's

Rider Fan
Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2008
Total Posts : 1445
   Posted 1/10/2009 10:28 AM (GMT -7)   
She must be anemic. Just because she doesn't notice any blood doesn't mean there is no blood loss. She should have her hemoglobin and ferratin checked.
Dx'ed in 1999. No surgeries.

Current meds: 25mg Methotrexate. 12.5mg prednisone. Udo's Choice Probiotics (30 billion).

Tried SCD, didn't work, now avoiding gluten and dairy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1761
   Posted 1/10/2009 10:53 AM (GMT -7)   


If it is anemia, which as others have suggested, you can't just use some drug store iron pills. Talk to the Dr. about that. Also, even when taking the proper iron supplement, it likely may not be absorbed until the inflammation is under control. It can take several months to get her iron stores back up as well. My daughter is anemic, and is always on an iron supplement. 

My daughter was diagnosed Feb. 19/07, (13 yrs. old at time of diagnosis), with Crohn's of the Terminal Illium. Initially, 9 weeks of Prednisone, currently taking 2000mgs of Pentasa.

Regular Member

Date Joined Dec 2008
Total Posts : 103
   Posted 1/10/2009 1:19 PM (GMT -7)   

DX in 2000,  on Pentasa only :)
daughter age 15 newly dx with Crohn's

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2008
Total Posts : 1522
   Posted 1/10/2009 4:12 PM (GMT -7)   
Talk to your doc before you give her iron. Iron is very hard on your stomach, most forms can cause C and some forms can cause D.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2009
Total Posts : 394
   Posted 1/10/2009 7:59 PM (GMT -7)   
My daughter was the same way. In the months before her diagnosis she had dark bags under her eyes and just did not look well. I thought for sure she was anemic, but her test came back normal. She is still very pale but starting to look "less sick"
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