Living with Fibro

Is there a Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Crohn’s Disease?

It is very interesting to attempt to draw a correlation between Fibromyalgia and Crohn’s disease.

There actually isn’t one known presently, at least not with the clearest delineation possibly understood to present means.

Though fibromyalgia has been suspected of having autoimmune disease links, there have been none confirmed at this time.

Certain diseases such as Lupus do have effects very similar to fibromyalgia and will present with many symptoms similar to inflammatory syndromes such as rheumatoid arthritis or Crohn’s disease, which is a severe autoimmune disease of the large intestine.

A Possible Link Between Fibromyalgia and Crohn’s Disease

It is possible that if you present with symptoms of fibromyalgia syndrome, there may be symptoms of another degenerative autoimmune disease known as Crohn’s disease, which affects the colon, causing severe symptoms of the gastrointestinal systems such as cramps and spasms with diarrhea with alternating constipation.

This is typically diagnosed as irritable bowel syndrome or IBS. If you are presenting with any severe symptoms of the gastrointestinal system and you have fibromyalgia, you may have fibromyalgia and Crohn’s disease, but this will have to be evaluated by a professional physician to determine the possibility and likelihood of the coincidence.

Crohn’s Disease Defined

Crohn’s disease typically begins as IBD, or Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This is when the intestinal tract, particularly the large intestine, becomes ulcerated, and proteins become exposed to the blood.

These proteins become recognized by the body’s immune system as foreign invaders and then the immune system attacks. The result is inflammation.

The inflammation causes a number of reactions such as pain, diarrhea with alternating constipation and spasms of the colon which can be alarmingly painful.

Basically, it all boils down to the immune system attacking the colon as though it were a foreign invader in the body and it affects roughly half a million people in the United States alone.

Sometimes dietary considerations are thought to play a role, but this is unconfirmed. Fibromyalgia can often make it difficult to eat due to painful digestion.

It is unclear why the immune system would so viciously attack the colon, reducing the well-being on one’s life.

There have been many implications regarding diet as a sole cause for Crohn’s disease, though many with perfectly good diets have also developed the disease and it is useless and rude to point fingers.

Perhaps certain herbs and medicines, teas, and broths can be of help. There are even probiotics, which are healthy bacteria, and they can help to rebuild the intestines.

It is also said that leafy greens blended into mash or smoothies will help rejuvenate the intestines or at least provide some pain relief.

There is much hope on the horizon. Mostly, it would be good to eat healthily anyway. It teaches the kids to eat this way too.

Causes

While there is no clear cause for Fibromyalgia and Crohn’s, we may be coming to a better understanding of some habits we can adopt to help prevent this devastating disease. There is an old colloquialism: You are what you eat.

This may be difficult for many to fathom because most of us are not trained in the sheer complexities of real nutrition, which happens to be more than just vitamins and minerals and protein and fat.

It is about enzymes and living foods and potential toxins and allergens. Yet this doesn’t have to be all scary. Just eat food the way it is supposed to be.

It is about people and lifestyles and even about psychology. This is no small field of study or advice.

When you get down to the level of Crohn’s disease, we are dealing with a disease where the immune system is literally attacking an organ of the body and this is a disorder of the immune system which can become quite serious.

It has been stated that the immune system is attacking bacteria in the colon. This is not true. The immune system is literally attacking the colon itself, the real tissue of the body. Hence, there is severe inflammation and pain.

Perhaps this is why it becomes confused with fibromyalgia. There will be stiffness in the joints, pain in the lower back, and overall pain in the muscles as well. This could easily be interpreted as fibromyalgia.

There would also be a clouding of thoughts and trouble concentration which would be misconstrued as fibro fog.

However, there would also be persistent loss of weight and appetite, bleeding from the rectum with persistent diarrhea and cramps in the abdomen, possible ulcers. Skin rashes would begin to show up with Crohn’s disease as well.

In one study, only 30% of patients with fibromyalgia were identified as having Crohn’s disease or other autoimmune disorders such as rheumatoid arthritis. There is no direct correlation between the two.

They can coexist together but one does not infer the other except for recent links to lupus and fibromyalgia but these studies remain unclear at the moment.

Is it possible that one could cause the other? Certainly, it is. Once one begins to become ill, there are many illnesses which can follow for different reasons.

One hardly wants to even consider how far this can go. Particularly with digestive disorders like Crohn’s disease and all the difficulties caused in terms of mineral absorption which could lead to fibromyalgia syndrome symptoms.

So it is certain this is no joke and there is a correlation. It is simply the fact that the correlation is not direct, but merely inferred. In other words, one does not directly cause the other.

Relationship Between Fibromyalgia and Crohn’s Disease

Addendum

The shady territory of fibromyalgia with concomitant illness always raises many questions. In science, there is much blame and speculation.

When trying to clarify a topic, this speculation can often seem sharp. There is only an intention here to convey truth in the most polite and complete manner possible.

Both fibromyalgia and Chrons disease are incredibly painful and debilitating. Any link between the two could reveal a phenomenal cure and if words can help this cure to be reached, so be it.

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

http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/10332985

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Living with Fibro

2 Comments

  • So true Joel, the pain will be unimaginable. i heard there is no known cure and the cause of both fibro and crohns diseases is unclear.
    i had a friend who suffers from this disease, he said they go hand in hand, anywhere you find crohns disease fibro will also be present…the vomiting, and she also suffer from indigestion.

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