Crohn's Disease

Updated on January 25, 2010
J.T. asks from Elmhurst, IL
10 answers

I'm wondering if anyone suffers from this. And how did you find out you had it, symptoms, test done.

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Thank you every one for your responses, has helped alot. Thank you for including names of dr.'s!

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answers from Dallas on

You would need to schedule an appointment with a GI doctor, and get a colonoscopy done, I know that stomach pains get so severe sometimes that you are admitted into the hospital, it's mainly young men in their 20's that I have see admitted. And I would make an appointment asap b/c they are always booked, I waited about a month to see one.

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answers from Chicago on

My husband has Crohn's Disease, symptomatic since 1991, but not diagnosed till 2000. For him, he had a series of peri-anal abscesses that were treated as one-off events by student health services during the decade he was in grad school. But, everything came to a head in 2000 when he developed a mass in his small intestine. He was cramping, bloated, and having urgent loose stools all the time. They finally imaged the mass with a barium swallow, but they didn't actually diagnose Crohn's until after they resected several feet of his intestines and sent it down to the pathology lab.

One new, less invasive way of diagosing Crohn's (and other diseases of the small bowel) is the Given PillCam SB. It's a little capsule you swallow with a camera in it (about the size of a large prenatal vitamin). You wear a belt pack around your waist for the day and that data is downloaded to the GI's computer. Based on those images, the doctor can figure out what's going on. It's a pretty patient-friendly way to image the small intestine.

Fortunately, my husband has got a moderate case and it's kept under control with Imuran (an immunosuppressant approved for pediatric leukemia, but it often works very well for Crohn's patients).

If you can get there, the U of C GI department is one of the best in the nation. Dr. David Rubin is wonderful. Dr. Stephen Hanauer is one of the leading researchers on Crohn's, but I'd say his bedside manner leaves something to be desired.

If you're up on the north shore, I'd suggest checking with Dr. Eli Erhenpreis with the North Shore Medical Group. He used to be at the U of C, and is an excellent clinician.

Good luck!

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answers from Chicago on

I have had Crohn's for about 10 years and it's no picnic, though I have had three healthy pregnancies (and children) and I work (though I'm somewhat limited in that department by fatigue), so it's certainly not the end of the world. It's not something you are likely to die from, but it can have a negative impact on quality of life, depending on how severe your case is. Everyone is different, which is why I think it's VERY important to see an experienced GI doctor. I have been to several in the Chicago area, as well as Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN, so email me if you want advice about doctors.

My symptoms are frequent loose stools (sometimes extremely urgent), cramping, and fatigue. I've been on pretty much every medication that they have to offer - and there are lots, not just steroids - but my case has proven somewhat resistent to these treatments, which is frustrating.
I've also tried diet and Chinese medicine. My experience is that they helped with symtpoms, but not with the underlying disease.

There are a few web communities for people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn's and Ulcertive Colitis). One of them is

Feel free to email me if you have any questions. Feel good!



answers from Chicago on

my BIL has Crohn's - his only symptom is severe stomach pains (or so he tells us). I would make an appt. with a GI doc. If you don't control it it can lead to lots of complications. And if it's not Crohn's it could be something like celiac or IBS. Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

father in law has crohns. can't eat several kinds of foods or has much pain. he had part of intestines taken out a few times. it's not pretty.



answers from Chicago on

I do not have this but have 2 friends who do. I also know of an excellent doctor (GI) at U of C but not sure how long his wait to see him is. He speaks all over the country and has been on TV. Symptons are the same as others say... stomach pain, loose stools, frequent BM.



answers from Pittsburgh on

My father has it. Some of his symptoms include blood in stool, abdominal cramping, diarrhea, hemroids (probably didn't spell that correctly). Obviously they can be symptoms of many other conditions. I believe his diagnosis was confirmed with bloodwork and a colonoscopy. If you think you have this I'd recommend making an appt with you primary care doc as soon as possible. Treatment can include dietary regulations as well as meds. My understanding is that, generally speaking, the sooner you diagnose it the easier it is to control it. Best wishes to you.



answers from Springfield on

You need to go to a GI doctor and have a colonoscopy. There is also another disease called Ulcerative Colitis that is a lot like Crohn's...same symptoms, except it only effects your large intestines (colon)... I had suffered with this since I was 17-18.
Feel free to email me with any questions!
Hope you feel better soon! God bless~



answers from Chicago on

Hi there,
My sister has Crohn's disease, and it was a long, hard road to get to the final, correct diagnosis. She went through a lot over a period of 3 years or so before the doctors finally figured it out. I don't have much advice for you except to ask your doctor to specifically consider it as a diagnosis if you think that's what you might have.
Good luck!



answers from Chicago on

I was diagnosed with Crohn's about 16 years ago when I was 17 years old. Initially, my symptoms were rapid weight loss, loss of appetite, terrible stomach and lower back pain, loose stool with blood, and VERY tired all the time. I also had painful swelling in my joints and big bump bruises in my legs. Some symptoms can vary from person to person. I would schedule an appointment with a GI right away. They will want to do a colonoscopy. I have had several other tests over the years as well. It has been pretty active for me over the years and I have had a couple surgeries. There are steroids and other meds that are used for treatment.

Good Luck! Feel free to contact me if you have any questions.

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