Living with Fibro

Diagnosing Crohn’s Disease and Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia often results in a number of sensitivities throughout the entire body.

Digestive problems are incredibly common in those with fibromyalgia; some of these issues include GERD/acid reflux issues, gluten intolerance, and irritable bowel syndrome (better known as IBS).

Another digestive issue that is common in fibromyalgia suffers is Crohn’s Disease, which affects the intestinal tract.

It can develop over a long period of time, and can cause a lot of discomfort. What is Crohn’s Disease and why is it so intertwined with fibromyalgia? That’s what we’re going to explore here.

What is Crohn’s Disease?

Crohn’s Disease is actually relatively uncommon, and it is listed in the category of diseases known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, or IBD’s.

These sorts of diseases, as the name suggests, attack the intestines (also referred to as the bowels) and make it so that they are sensitive to different types of stimuli and to what you ingest.

Basically, your whole gastrointestinal tract is inflamed to the point where it cannot function properly.

It is an incredibly painful disease as well, so if you don’t keep track of what is going on with your body, it can end up doing a lot of damage.

It doesn’t affect the entire gastrointestinal system, however. Usually it only affects a certain area. More often than not, Crohn’s Disease goes after the small intestine, but it can end up going anywhere from your anus to your stomach. The large intestine is rarely affected by Crohn’s.

The symptoms can vary depending on your particular case, but many times, they are debilitating and make it difficult for the person to eat and digest their food.

Lower back pain, muscle pain, and problems with the joints are all included as the major symptoms of Crohn’s Disease that coincide with fibromyalgia symptoms.

There are other symptoms, as well, including swelling of certain areas of the body, blood in the stools, cramps, weight loss, a lack of moisture in the skin, severe itching, and a lack of general nutrition.

In some of the worst cases, surgery needs to be performed on the patient and they have to have a bag put in because part of their intestinal tract is missing and/or unable to work as it is supposed to work.

At this point in time, there is no known cause for Crohn’s Disease.

There are all sorts of theories out there, however, from the presence of viruses and bacteria to irritable bowel syndrome, to genetics, and whatever else researchers have been able to come up with.

The only solid evidence that they have is that there is a particular gene that all sufferers of Crohn’s Disease seem to share, but they haven’t quite been able to make the full link at this point in time.

Eventually, they hope to come up with a solid reason behind why Crohn’s disease happens in certain people when it doesn’t happen to others at all.

Crohn’s Disease and Fibromyalgia

Why are Crohn’s Disease and Fibromyalgia Linked?

Crohn’s Disease and Fibromyalgia don’t have a very solid link, mainly because researchers have still not been able to determine exactly what the cause(s) are of each of the disorders.

It is uncommon to find someone with fibromyalgia that has Crohn’s Disease, but it does happen, and it can cause a lot of stress and pain for the person who is suffering from both.

That being said, researchers are still trying to determine exactly why they seem to be connected to one another; but like with both of their causes, there is one huge link that many doctors ascribe to.

Irritable Bowel Syndrome, better known as IBS, is a disorder of the bowels that makes it so that you cannot eat certain types of foods due to a sensitivity to them.

Those who have been diagnosed with fibromyalgia frequently have IBS as one of the many issues that they are dealing with.

Because of this, most people with fibromyalgia end up getting treated for IBS. Now, look back up at some of the theories behind why Crohn’s Disease happens in certain people.

IBS may, in fact, be one of the causes of Crohn’s Disease, or at least what ends up making it happen a lot more easily. Because both fibromyalgia and Crohn’s Disease have something to do with IBS, there are theories out there that those with IBS and fibromyalgia are more likely to end up with Crohn’s in the long run.

Now, of course, what does that mean for your treatment? There’s good news and bad news there.

If you have Crohn’s, you may notice that you don’t always have to deal with your symptoms.

In some cases, it just goes away for awhile and not come back. In other cases, you may deal with it for extended periods of time.

When you are dealing with it, however, you want to make sure that you are getting treatment that will help reduce the amount of pain that you are coping with.

These can include a variety of things, from medications that help to control your bowels, to taking out a part of the intestine that is suffering from Crohn’s, to a variety of other treatment plans.

Keep your doctor in the loop about any symptoms you are suffering from – you may end up seeing that Crohn’s or another disorder has started to come up alongside your fibromyalgia symptoms.

It’s really interesting to see all of the different disorders that often occur with fibromyalgia.

That being said, it’s important that we look at these as well, because if we don’t, we may mistake these diseases as a worsening of our fibromyalgia issues, thus causing us to blow them off until they get out of control.

Be sure to keep an eye on all of your symptoms by keeping a journal – that way, if something changes, you will be able to have a visual in order to determine when it started to change and how severe the change is.

References:

http://www.fibromyalgia-symptoms.org/fibromyalgia_crohns.html

http://www.qualityhealth.com/crohns-disease-articles/crohns-fibromyalgia-whats-connection

http://www.health.com/health/gallery/0,,20352008,00.html

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Living with Fibro

1 Comment

  • Well thanks goodness, it seems I don’t have Chron’s! but I c an say for sure I have IBS thanks for the information!

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