possible crohn's crazy symptoms

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Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/28/2009 2:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hello, we are all new to this.. so here goes.
This journey started soemthing like 20ish years ago,when my husbadn was 29- he would get these crazy stomach cramps- they would always be very low in his abdoman, and always very bad pain. The pain would many times make him pass out, and he would always have diarrhea.
He would have diarrhea 10-20 times before it finally went away. He would have these "episodes" once or twice a year-
over the past few years, ehw ould have them a bit more often.
This year has been the worst- since last October- 10 months- he has lost 11 pounds, without really trying or doing anyathing .He's not a big man- he weighs about 160 pounds and is 5'10
He is also 51 years old.
He had two episodes early in the year, and then again in March- each the same as always.
I finally taught him how to breathe through the pain, so he doesn't pass out,a nd end up in the er getting stitchces (2 times now).
These episodes never result in blood- but always result in him quite fatigued.
He spends most of his time tired.
Finally, I convinced him to go to the doctor- because since 2 weeks ago- he spent at least 8 of those days with diarrhea. The diarrhea and the pain would come on somewhere between 8 and 10 am- and last for at least 5 hours- he would have diarrhea 20 or so times in that amount of time- and hten the rest of the day he would just be tired- and weak.
Yesterday, we went to the doctor- he pushed on his stomach- and he did have some tenderness, but isn't sure if the tenderness was just because his stomach is irritated.
They ran some blood work and stool samples.
He thinks it could be IBS- but it isn't quite as common to lose weight like this- so he said he thinks something else like crohn's or colitis.
Does crohns' start and stop? I mean, today, he hasn't had any diarrhea- yet he has had some minor twinges of pain here and there, and he has eaten.
He is still exhausted and tired- no fever, never a fever.
The blood work showed a very mild elevation in his white blood count, but said that could be from inflammation, yet he started him on an antibiotic just in case.
With no fever, and with it not lasting all day long, every day, etc.. he said it didn't make sense to be an infection or parasite, yet they are still checking.
My wonder is why do the symptoms come and go. One day he is great- and then 2 days later he is sick with this for 2 or 3 days for 5 or so hours.
His mean platelet level is low- which the doctor said indicates some type of IBD
He also said that his lymphocytes are also mildly elevated and also his actual platelet level is also mildly elevated.
We don't know what to think at this point, we are waiting for our GI appointment.
At the same time, he is afraid of eating anything, he is tired yet tired of being tired and feeling like garbage.
Any ideas would be great. If this DOES NOT sound like crohns' that would be great, and do let me know.


Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 8/28/2009 3:28 PM (GMT -7)   
Your basically asking to speculate on a diagnosis that is extensive...normally made from doing a scope of the bowel and taking biopsy sample for observation under microscope for specific characteristics and areas of the inflammation of the bowel cell walls (lumen).. A stricture or narrow area can cause the symptoms you describe as well as any obstruction and is also found amongst crohns patients. Obstructions can be any malformed area. When food has reached affected area of bowel there is an increase in all the symptoms. Attempting a solution is surgical or non-surgical. Some doctors might even attempt to use the scope tool to widen the obstructed area. So this is just an example and actual treatment is determined by knowing first, the location of inflammation. The elevated white cells may occur however, because the body is attempting to deal with the abnormal area and is not necessarily the body response as a result of a pathogen. So this makes the treatment choice of antibiotic difficult because in this case neither a pathogen or abnormal bowel has yet been determined for certain. The pain, low red cells, high white doesnt want to eat, low energy etc all likely related to bowel as described. The passing out part is troubling me. If he actually passed out then he needs to be checked asap. Tell them of the fact he has passed out.

Regular Member

Date Joined Aug 2009
Total Posts : 23
   Posted 8/28/2009 3:53 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes, he has gone to the doctor because of hte fainting, and it always occurs because of the pain. He has no pain threshold= and the pain that overtakes him when he gets those awful spasmodic abdominal pains, are more then he can bear, usually.
He has just elarned some breathing techniques to get him through the pain.

He does have a NORMAL red blood count, not abnormal, as I might have said on accident.

Today is a good day. He has eaten normally- no bowel movements, because he spent all day yesterday with diarrhea- but he has had mild pains off and on all day long, just not servere.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Sep 2005
Total Posts : 517
   Posted 8/28/2009 4:08 PM (GMT -7)   
the fainting is not necessarily from pain as it mite be from low blood pressure, stay hydrated, so the fainting common more to IBS than crohns, ok but they need to determine if the fainting is separate issue

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2008
Total Posts : 176
   Posted 8/28/2009 8:04 PM (GMT -7)   

Hi Christinakm,

Sorry to hear about the pain that your husband has been going through.  Some of the more common testing done to determine if a person has Crohn's is a colonoscopy (along w/ biopsies); a small bowel follow-through to look for stricturing (narrowing) and inflammation of the bowel; and a Prometheus IBD Serology 7 blood test.

I have come close to passing out on several occasions when I have severe cramping or severe intestinal spasming.  I think that some people are more prone to that than others when having bad pain.  It's called a vasovagal response.  Here's one link that describes it:  http://www.medicinenet.com/fainting/page4.htm

Crohn's symptoms can definitely ebb and flow---sometimes many good days, and then some bad ones in between.

Just incase your husband has some partial bowel obstruction going on, I would suggest he eat low residue, low fiber, low fats until he can get in to see his GI---hopefully soon! 

I hope my input helps, but obviously his doctor will know best.

Good luck, and keep us posted, OK?

54 year old female;
Have had Crohn's of terminal ileum for over 9 yrs.   My first small bowel surgery was on 7-30-09.
On Humira since Dec. 2008.  Allergic/hypersensitivity to Pentasa, Entocort, and 6-MP.  

Elite Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 14995
   Posted 8/29/2009 7:31 AM (GMT -7)   
I agree with Blossom, in that I think until he can meet with the doctor he should go on a low residue diet. You can google it and get some diet ideas. If his pain is so bad that he is passing out, he could have at least a partial obstruction causing his pain. If his pain is coming in waves much like labor pain, then I would suggest next time that happens you not try to treat it at home and get him to the ER. Good luck!
Gail*Nanners* Co-Moderator for Crohns Disease and Anxiety/Panic Forum
Crohn's Disease for over 33 years. Currently on Asacol, Prilosec, Estrace, Prinivil, Diltiazem, Percoset prn for pain, Zofran, Phenergan, Probiotics, Calcium  w/Vit D, and Xanax as needed. Resections in 2002 and 2005. Also diagnosed with Fibromyalgia, Osteoarthritis, and Anxiety. Currently my Crohns is in remission, but my joints are going crazy!
It's scary when you start making the same noises As your coffee maker.
*Every tomorrow has two handles.  We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith"*
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