Ankylosing Spondylitis and Crohn’s?

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Hi, I've recently been diagnosed with ankylosing spondylitis after years of pain in my back, hips and legs. MRI was finally approved & showed sacroiliitis which led to positive blood test for HLA-B27. I'm wondering how common it is to have Crohn's as well. I've read that they are often found together. I've had years of abdominal, rib cage and back pain, cramping, gas, constipation and occasional diarrhea. I've learned to stay away from popcorn, seeds, raw veggies which seem to aggravate the pain. My GI says it's GERD and IBS, but I haven't seen him since the AS diagnosis. I'm about to start Humira for the AS, which I understand is also used to treat crohns. Does anyone else have both of these conditions? I'm wondering if there is any use in asking my GI for tests when the Humira could address both? Thanks for your advice!

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  • Posted

    hi Teri, sorry to hear. glad you are getting to try humira, it has helped me greatly for 15 years. let us know how it works for you.

    i do have crohns and as and they are common together. my gi doc did a talk recently at the hospital where he listed ankylosing spodylitis as one of the enteropathic arthritis of crohns, the other being peripheral. of course you can have as independently as well. i think i have also read of an hlab27 assiciation with crohns. now that you have an as diagnosis i would think gi docs would be more suspicious for crohns/autoimmune gut disease. hopefully you can get more testing for crohns or ibd, if you are disgnosed there will need to be other monitoring (colonoscopy, mr enterography, stool tests), and possible other treatments. the sooner treated the better, so yes definitely do ask.

    hopefully humira will work on both, it is true it normally does. in my case, humira has never actually worked well on my crohns, only as. but because it works so well on my as i have never switched and only tried double therapy with other crohns drugs. currently i am trying the only other biologic you can take with humira, entyvio, which was a recent development and i was relieved to have a new option. it is a better time for patients now, lots of new and safer treatments.

    good luck, let us know.

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    • Posted

      Thank you for the advice! After years of feeling unwell but with no diagnosis I fear doctors believe I am just a hypochondriac!

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  • Posted

    hi Teri

    I wish you well with the Humira. I have crohns and not AS but RA which also seems to be found with other autoimmune diseases. I was not able to tolerate humira but many do well with it. When you see the GI doc hopefully you will have more testing to see what the GI diagnosis actually is. My colonoscopy was how my crohns was diagnosed. Let us know how you do on the medication Best of luck

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    • Posted

      thanks Gloria! How did you know you couldn't tolerate Humira ? I feel pretty bad most days. I can't imagine how I'd know something was making it worse!

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    • Posted

      Hi again

      With humira I got heart palpitations which were very bothersome and disrupted my sleep / Also raised by blood pressure. But then I switched to another biologic Cimzia which I tolerated for 11 months and then again heart palp. These 2 drugs are similar so the next drug will work in a different way

      But humira is tolerated by many people and does a great job. The doc trying to find a drug for me that works for both RA and crohns. Think positive that humira will work for you! I had no heart damage and my blood pressure returned to normal after stopping the injections

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    • Posted

      Thanks! I am trying to stay positive. Heart palpitations are a problem for me anyway. My heart is fine, the doctors believe it's hormonal. So that is a concern. I am hoping for the best!

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