I was a very healthy kid. I had the occasional cold and I've had the flu twice in my life. My parents used to tell me I had a really strong immune system because when kids were sick around me at school, I never seemed to catch what they had.
But my dad's sister has UC (she's now 81-years old)...and my dad's cousin has CD. So possibly for me Crohn's is genetic and I was just born with it and it didn't become ACTIVE until my 30's.
I also think environmental factors MUST somehow play a role...possibly CAUSING the disease in some people and possibly triggering the disease into an active state for those who already have the disease from some other source.
When I first started to get ill, I was under A LOT of STRESS. Two things were going on. First, I was working 4 jobs: one full-time and 3 part-times. At one of my PT jobs, I had a massive problem with a co-worker. I'm not the confrontational-type...but with this girl I was a totally different person. She knew how to push my buttons and we would argue and fight and curse each other at the top of our lungs. I LOVED the job but hated being around her. We'd started off as friends but an illness she'd had in high school surfaced again during the time I knew her - bulemia. Her personality changed and she started drinking . She became unbearable to be around. She would come to work drunk and just start an argument with me for no reason. I just didn't know how to control my temper when she'd start in.
While that was going on, I had an AWFUL infestation of MICE in my apartment. This wasn't just a case of killing 1 or 2 mice. There was a family breeding in the walls between my apartment and the apartment next door (who had a dog and a cat inside so the mice knew to go to MY place where there were no animals!). I would find mouse droppings in every room along the walls; on the couch & chairs; even IN MY BED. I couldn't sleep at night for fear of them crawling in bed with me! I fought with the apartment management who didn't want to admit there was a mouse problem. They sent a pest control person who did nothing but set out blocks of poison which never worked. I used glue traps and spent MANY nights hauling "alive and squealing but stuck" mice to the garbage...until I got the bright idea to start putting them on the steps of the apartment management's door. It was awful and I was a nervous wreck. I ended up staying with my parents for the longest time until I was able to MOVE OUT of the apartment and get a new, "mouse-free" place.
And during all this time, I was having worse and worse abdominal pains & loose BM's up to 15 times a day. I was Dx with IBS and given meds that didn't work. The pain and the LBM's got worse and I eventually quit the PT job I mentioned so I'd have time to find out what was wrong with me. It took another year for a Crohn's diagnosis.
I can't help but wonder, though, if those two stress factors played a role in ACTIVATING my Crohn's. Maybe I'd been born with CD from a genetic perspective but the stress I was not used to dealing with activated the disease. Had I NOT had that PT job...had I NOT had that mouse-infestation...would I be on this Crohn's Forum right now?
It sure would be great to one day know the REAL answer.
Diagnosed in October, 2004 at age 32
(misdiagnosed with IBS in 2002)
Current Rx's: Colazal (generic), Omeprazole, Ferrous Sulfate, Librax, One-A-Day multivitamin, Probiotic, Omega-3 Fish Oil, Vitamin D, Cranberry pills
Secondary conditions: swelling ankles, extreme fatigue, mouth ulcers, joint pain
Previous/occasional Rx's: Prednisone, Flagyl, Levaquin, Xifaxan, Carafate
4/7/09: Gall bladder removal laproscopic surgery (gall stones)
Post Edited (Kittikatt) : 5/18/2009 10:01:15 AM (GMT-6)