Crohn's triggered by pregnancy

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Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 3/6/2010 5:05 PM (GMT -7)   
Has anyone heard of pregnancy triggering Crohn's Disease? I have Crohn's disease and was diagnosed at 32 years of age after many, many years of unexplained symptoms--- gastro and non-gastro symptoms. My 1st cousin is 22 years old and has never had any other symptoms except acid reflux. She is 7 months pregnant and ended up in the hospital with severe abdominal pain. They did CT scan, MRI, X-rays and then surgery to remove her appendix. They found her small intestine to be extremely inflamed and infected. She is unable to keep even water down. Her GI is saying everything points to Crohn's except how quickly it appeared. The test on the appendix showed it was not the cause of her intestinal issues. They are trying to get her well enough to carry the baby to term and then do a colonscopy after she delivers the baby. I feel she could have had such a mild form of Crohn's that she did not notice it. Once pregnant, losing a job, losing insurance, and then moving with her husband to a different state could have caused a major, major flare up of Crohn's. Not sure though. I would not wish this disease on my worst enemy.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2003
Total Posts : 6117
   Posted 3/6/2010 5:20 PM (GMT -7)   
doubt it.. but who knows with all the hormonal changes etc... but since ive never been pregnant.... ;0)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2005
Total Posts : 3763
   Posted 3/6/2010 5:31 PM (GMT -7)   
My mother and I both showed signs in our teens. I actually self diagnosed but was told that I was just lactose intolerant. We were both officially diagnosed when our first born was 1, so for us pregnancy and the hormones were defiantly part of the picture. Obviously we both had Crohn's but pregnancy brought out the worst of the beast. I have 2 daughters who both show tendencies toward tummy issues. I will be watching them like a hawk when they have children.

CD 20 years officially, 30 unofficially. 3 resections '93, '95 '97
Managing with strict low residue diet, keeping symptoms to a minimum. All test show small amount of ulceration, still have occasional blockages. But still have a great time with my 2 daughters and husband!

Prednisone, 6MP,Prevacid, B12 shots, Bentyl, Xifaxan.....

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 3/6/2010 6:25 PM (GMT -7)   
According to my GIs and research, CD either gets worse or better when pregnant. In my case, it got worse and I was also doing everything possible to avoid surgery while pregnant! It was soooo excruciating and sad to be so sick and obstructed while pregnant. Thank God, we got through it and my baby is totally healthy and I don't have near the obstructions I used to!

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2010
Total Posts : 75
   Posted 3/7/2010 5:51 AM (GMT -7)   
I had red that having crohns can bring you out of remission if you get pregnant. For me that's just what happened. After my baby was born it wasn't long after it flared up.

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Date Joined Mar 2009
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   Posted 3/7/2010 7:04 AM (GMT -7)   
Hi being pregnant gave me a break for 9 months, was in aflare before hand then had no symptoms for the 9 months then the flare came back soon after pregnancy. Bev x
Diagnosed with crohns at 13 now 43
Reversal of temp ileostomy finally have a date 7th April 2010
Meds: Iron syrup,Loperimide,Folic acid & Citalopram 60mg (for Anxiety.)

" I may not be there yet, but I'm closer than I was yesterday."

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 208
   Posted 3/7/2010 7:32 AM (GMT -7)   
Thank you everyone for your replies. The doctors are saying everything points to Crohn's except for her never having any previous symptoms and the quick onset.

Veteran Member

Date Joined May 2003
Total Posts : 2481
   Posted 3/7/2010 7:52 AM (GMT -7)   
Sorry for the diagnosis.
I too had a very quick onset of CD. For me, it started with mouth ulcers, then diarrhea, severe ab. pain, etc. Looking back though, I see I must have had it during teenage years because I often had a sore stomach and "d" then too, just not as bad.
I hope your cousin feels better soon.

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 165
   Posted 3/7/2010 1:17 PM (GMT -7)   
I started having issues when I was 11 weeks pregnant. I had had many issues in the 10 years prior, but never knew they were GI issues. I was misdiagnosed with female issues because my pain was lower right quad. I couldn't eat, drink or function during pregnancy. Spent 30+ days in the hospital from 11 weeks-delivery at 39 weeks. It was HORRIBLE!!!!!!! Lost 27 lbs. BUT had a healthy baby girl who is perfect at age 4. Crohn's is not "caused" by pregnancy but can be triggered or "activated" in my experience.

Fibromyalgia DX March 2003
Crohn's DX Jan 2006 (Symptoms since 96-Misdiagnosed as "female" problems-Major flare during pregnancy in 05 which lead to DX)
1st resection July 2007
Currently on Remicade/8 weeks

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 3/7/2010 1:54 PM (GMT -7)   
Pregnancy hormones and hormones in general are linked to IBD...I got sick (internally) with my CD about a yr and 3 months after giving birth to my first baby (my body was still re-adjusting after first pregnancy) and many women find they get sick with IBD during or sometime after their first pregnancy...researchers note that a woman that has an IBD and then becomes pregnant can either stay in a flare, go into remission or go into a flare so it's clearly a toss up. Women are also known to have IBD triggered for them from birth control pills and BC pills are also known to exacerbate IBD symptoms...I started BC pills in my early teens, low and behold shortly after is when I started noticing the perinala crohn's skin tags appearing (and also disappearing on their own) but of course then I was told they were hemmies, they weren't though, then as I mentioned above, I got sick internally with CD a little over a yr after having my first baby...and my perianal crohn's skin tags went crazy on me.

There is definitly a link to hormones and IBD *men have hormones too*.


bee propolis caps 500mg one cap twice/day
omegas 369 caps one cap twice/day
probiotics 10 billion cfu once/day
vitamins C-calcium ascorbate (easy on the gut) and vitamin A each once/day
Prodiem fibre supplement one cap before bed
I've also altered my diet (no junky stuff at all, processed, fast-foods, refined sugars, ect) and exercise regularly.
I went from 30+ bloody BM's/day with lots of lower back pain to an average of 5/day no bleeding no back pain and completely formed stools, still have severe urgency issues.
~~~~~~~~My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it! LOL :)~~~~~~~~

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2006
Total Posts : 56
   Posted 3/10/2010 2:42 PM (GMT -7)   
I was very healthy all my life, had a child at 19, still fine, second child at age 35 and a week or so after giving birth my health changed dramatically diarrhea, stomach pain ect. I remember thinking that maybe I had caught something in the hospital. Well it never went away. I was told I had irritable bowel and to live with it. 10 years later I was diagnosed with Crohn's.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 7150
   Posted 3/10/2010 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I have UC, not CD, but mine was either triggered by pregnancy or delivery. My really bad symptoms started about 4 weeks after my son was born, but I also wonder if I was mildly flaring throughout my pregnancy. I was NEVER constipated while pregnant, and actually pooped more often and had looser BMs than I ever had before. I didn't think much of it, because it wasn't "abnormal" nor was I having any pain/bleeding/urgency. My son was also born three weeks early, and early delivery happens quite frequently with IBD patients.
Co-Moderator, UC Forum
Status: Remission since May 2009!
Symptoms began in November 2008, ~4 weeks after giving birth to my son
Diagnosed with pancolitis on 1/30/09
Meds: Apriso (4 0.375g pills ONCE!! daily), mesalamine enema twice weekly, Natural Factors Ultimate probiotic 12/12 Formula, multivitamin.  Used prednisone (starting dose 40 mg) to get into remission.

Regular Member

Date Joined Mar 2010
Total Posts : 131
   Posted 3/10/2010 4:40 PM (GMT -7)   
Well I think I got my thyroid problem after my first and my stomach issues after my second, so maybe pregnancy is a stress to the body.
-Mom of a preschool boy and teenage girl and wife to a wonderful man.
Hypothyroid, newly dx'd Crohn's, Gerd. I love to look for natural ways to heal first, conventional ways second and keep my faith.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 373
   Posted 10/9/2011 3:41 AM (GMT -7)   
Wanna here something weird? I went in full remission when I was pregnant, even colors were said the placenta is feeding baby you are getting full nutrients plus the drugs they use to contol pregnancy are the same as what the placenta gives out ..loved being pregnant!
Crohns dx,Pelvic Floor Tension,Pelvic Adhesive dx,Interstitial Cystitis,Ileostomy,Severe Scoliosis,Chronic Pain,Arthritis,BP1,Anxiety/Panic attacks,Several reconstructive surgeries,dx,fibromyalgia.42 degree scoliosis,pelvic tilt and neurological impingement, complete loss of neck curve and degenerative disc dx

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2011
Total Posts : 33
   Posted 10/9/2011 7:39 PM (GMT -7)   
My GI doc has also speculated that I had CD before pregnancy, but that the hormone drop after birth is what finally set me off......I had no issues until my 20's, and was misdiagnosed with a spastic colon, due to diarrhea that would not stop. It was the only symptom, although in hindsight there were 2 others: one being joint pain with no discernible reason (I can predict rain and cold snaps with 48 hour accuracy) and I had 2 bouts of eurythema nodosum which interestingly were brought on (both times, 4 years apart) by my going on birth control pills (again with the hormone changes). Both times, the E.N. faded within 2 weeks of stopping the pills.

When I got pregnant at age 30, my bathroom issues disappeared completely for the duration, no matter what I ate. Then, 2 weeks after my child was born, it started up again, followed by the most awful pain in my gall bladder area. Having my GB checked and come up normal led to colonoscopy, which led to the diagnosis, and I had a massive flare the next month.
Diagnosed November 2008, but symptoms for 10 years prior, misdiagnosed as spastic colon.
Currently dealing with rectovaginal fistula, had LIFT procedure August 24th, discovered that I had 2 fistulas 8/26, so now I'm waiting to heal so I
can deal with that one!
Meds: Tried and failed with Pentasa, Asacol, Prednisone, LDN, Remi. Currently on Humira.

Regular Member

Date Joined Jan 2011
Total Posts : 373
   Posted 10/9/2011 9:38 PM (GMT -7)   
Well my story is I was as healthy as could be ,got pregnant.. never felt better, colors were shaper, ate whatever I wanted (crohms not diagnosed) I tor very bad during vaginal delivery (should have had a c-section but did not know had crohms) vaginal and rectum wall were weakened ..wound up with a a recatal/vaginal fistual, doctor said " no problem "can fix, made matteres worse, then another colorectal said, no problem..I went into a flare and the acidic diareah ate away my whole perennial wall and sphxinter muscle..I had to have several surgeries to correct including a permeant ileiostomy, I am angry that they did not check me for chrohns dx ..I had every symptom and they should nit have been operatiing on me ! But it is what it is and this is my life , thank got my daughter is healthy..(I spared you a lot of details)
Crohns dx,Pelvic Floor Tension,Pelvic Adhesive dx,Interstitial Cystitis,Ileostomy,Severe Scoliosis,Chronic Pain,Arthritis,BP1,Anxiety/Panic attacks,Several reconstructive surgeries,dx,fibromyalgia.42 degree scoliosis,pelvic tilt and neurological impingement, complete loss of neck curve and degenerative disc dx

Regular Member

Date Joined Feb 2009
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 10/10/2011 11:17 AM (GMT -7)   
Yep, this was me. I never had any digestive problems until I felt really ill after having a home made pizza with LOADS of onions when I was 30 weeks pregnant. Went to hospital, they thought I was having Braxton-Hicks and sent me home.
Two weeks later the pain was so bad my gyaneacologist thought I had appendix inflamed, went to hospital, blood results showed massive inflamation, ultrasound looked awful, they thought I had my intestine pierced, within few hours I had surgery and was diagnosed with CD.

It did take quite a while to get my Crohns under control, but luckily the baby took the surgery well and although there were pediatrists ready behind the door of the room where I lay on the table in case it was necessary to do a Cesarian, I gave birth the normal way 6 weeks later :-).

Good luck to your cousin, hope the desease will be treated soon, having to put up with the symptoms while looking afret a newborn is very exhausting.
Diagnosed with Crohn´s in 2005, 3 surgeries. Currently on Imuran 2-0-1, 33 yrs old mother of three. Boy 05/2005, girl 03/2009 and girl 24/4/2011.

New Member

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 1
   Posted 4/22/2012 3:15 PM (GMT -7)   
I have Ulcerative Colitis, which was triggered by the birth of my 3rd child. I am 30 years old, had my first at 25, my second at 28, and my third at 30. No previous digestive issues at all. I began getting stomach and intestinal pain, as well as bloody diarrhea about 1 month after this last child. After multiple tests, I was diagnosed with UC, and also have some ulcers in my small bowel, and inflammation in my stomach.

I have heard stories of other women who developed bowel issues after a child was born. I am convinced my hormones, as well as the almost unbearable stress of caring for three small children, were the cause of my disease.

To anyone with bowel issues, the book: Self Help Way To Treat Colitis and Other IBS Conditions by DeLamar Gibbons is a life-saver. He is a GI doctor who also suffered from UC. He began experimenting with different foods, and has developed a diet that is incredibly effective. He found that one of the primary (and most significant) irritants for bowel diseases is Fructose, or plant sugar. (Which makes perfect sense! Every time I eat High Fructose Corn Syrup, I am in incredible pain.) There are another number of foods that cause irritation, and by following the diet he recommends, I was able to rid myself of all symptoms and go back to functioning normally. In 6 weeks, I went from having bloody diarrhea 20+ times per day with unbearable stomach cramps, to a bowel movement once a day, and no more diarrhea, blood, or cramping. I recommend it for anyone who has any form of bowel issues: he addresses all of them.

What's next?
Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2012
Total Posts : 229
   Posted 4/22/2012 7:26 PM (GMT -7)   
I've had stomach pains since I was a kid and the doctors never found out why. Before I got pregnant with my first son I was on birth control and started to loose weight. The doctors gave me the are you eating? So I stopped the b/c and gained the weight back. Then got pregnant with my son. I had a great pregnancy but did complain a lot about pains in my stomach but they just kept telling me it's normal. After my first I lost all of the weight plus some in a few days. No joke. Tried a different b/c, lost weight, gave up and decided we wanted 2 kids about 2 years apart. Well we got pregnant and now they are a year and a half. Lol when I was pregnant the 2nd time, I gained the weight again. 41lbs both times exactly. I was hoping to keep a little but I lost all of it quick again and since my second pregnancy I've slowly gotten worse. He is 18 months now and I'm still not right, but I'm not horrible either. But I really believe the birth control is bad for me. And I also believe my body likes being pregnant but after flares like crazy. During both I did have stomach pains, cramps, etc but nothing to hurt me or the baby.
24yr old- crohns
Tried pentasa, switched to apriso. Had months of prednisone and b12 injections, tried humira with bad results, on a probotic (4 a day), starting remicade soon. Doctor also said i have hiatal hernia, b12 deficiency, anemia, malabsorption syndrome, osteopenia.
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