It can come on out of nowhere. It did so for me a couple of days after Christmas one year. I got diarrhoea and naturally put it down to too much rich food over Christmas, but the diarrhoea never cleared up, so three weeks later I went to the doctor. After the usual tests, I got my diagnosis. Just like that. Secretly I didn't really believe it was Crohn's and thought the diarrhoea would just go away at some point and never return, and that would be that. Ah, such innocence. Such merry, trilling, youthful.... Sorry. Got a bit carried away there.
On a serious note, it sounds quite likely to me that you have Crohn's, but obviously I can't proclaim with confidence that you do. I'd go with your doctor's opinion for now and begin a treatment regime because, if it's Crohn's, you don't want to go leaving it untreated long-term. Steroids are for the short-term only and their effect doesn't last once you stop taking taking them, but they do work immediately. In the meantime, while you're tapering off steroids, a long-term maintenance med is usually prescribed - 6MP is one of them. Bit surprised your doctor suggested that, as it seems a tad heavy at this stage. It's not the most powerful Crohn's drug there is, but it's still quite a powerful immunesuppressant. In mild to moderate cases of Crohn's, the 5-ASA drugs are normally the first line of attack - they're anti-inflammatories rather than immunesuppressants, thus milder. Two things to be said about
that: 1) it seems to be becoming far more common for doctors to skip the 5-ASAs with new patients in favour of jumping straight to the middle or big guns eg 6MP, Imuran, Remicade, Humira. 2) the immunesupressants are more effective at treating Crohn's than the anti-inflammatories, so maybe that's why.
As for probiotics, I don't really know a lot about
them to be honest, but many on this board take them and I'm sure will give advice. One brand which seems to be top dog in the probiotic world is VSL#3.
Phew. Tired myself out writing this post...