Could this be Chron's?

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Hi,

I have just come back from a hospital appointment with a colorectal surgeon. My main issue is needing to strain to pass stools and a fair degree of associated pain. There is often some blood as well. I do have external haemorrhoids and have certainly had fissures in the past although I am not sure I have one at the moment. I saw a specialist many years ago but that didn’t go very far. Apparently there was a lot of tension in my sphincter muscles and he did say I may need surgery. I have only talked with the new surgeon but she feels I definitely have anal stenosis and will probably require surgery. She also kept on talking about Chron’s disease and I get the impression she feels this is a very likely cause.

I have a lot of wind, and alternate between constipation and soft stools, sometime diarrhoea. It is not helped by the fact I am quite a lot of medication for both epilepsy and mental health illness. All of these medications can cause constipation.

I don’t feel like I have a lot of bloating and don’t get blood in my stools (as far as I can tell). Does anybody else recognise these symptoms? Do you think it is possible I have Chron’s disease?

The surgeon came across as very competent so I guess I need to trust her. I am booked in for sidmoidoscopy on the 5th of July so that should tell me much more. I am just about to go on holiday for a week and the whole thing has got me rather worked up. I suffer from Generalised Anxiety Disorder so I am thinking of all the worst case scenarios that will surely ruin the family holiday sad

BM, BM.

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  • Posted

    It could be many things, and crohns is just one on the mix!

    i understand g.a.d as I have it myself and it's easier said than done to say try not to worry!

    go for taking each day at a time until you have had your sig scope.

    and I hope you feel better soon.

    youve a lot on with your epilepsy and anxiety issues alone, and none of these aid a happy digestive system.

     

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  • Posted

    Hi

    Crohns has certainly become more and more talked about, because there are so many more things these days that people are allergic to, which is basically the background of this nasty complaint. If I tell you when I had my first serious op done in 1970, the surgeon came back from America with the instructions as to what to do written on a piece of paper, so that will tell you that it has become more serious and widespread. The one thing that I would say is that the condition does affect your nerves and anxiety status.  The sigmoidoscopy should be able to  look at problems like inflammation in the gut.

    To explain Crohns easily is impossible because it makes life extremely hard. You tend to be very tired and irritable because pain is lowering. You run at about 80% fitness because it affects the whole of your body and in many cases people have anaemia. There are tests which will tell them if it is Crohns, but it could be Colitis or Ulcerative Colitis. They are all nasty complaints, but if you are like me you would sooner know exactly what you are facing as opposed to turning your face to the wall.  Sorry not to be more helpful, but everyone will tell you that you need a surgeon that you trust and an experienced Gastroentermologist who can give you the right answers from their years of their experience. Don't settle for anything less.  Best wishes and I hope everything goes well for you.

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  • Posted

    Hi, I am sorry to hear that you are not feeling well. As regards to whether or not it is Crohns, this is a difficult one since there are a lot of complaints that offer up the same symptoms.  I agree with comments made. Genarally a colenoscpy will be recommemnded which is a camera inserted into the stomach via the rectum.

    ?I have had crohns myself for 52yrs this year. And as other people have said in those early days there was not a lot known about this complaint. There has been a reasonable advance in treatments since then which helps minimise the need for surgery,

    ?It is ironic but people who suffer with crohns generally have other complaints to contend with as if having Crohns is not enough. It is no good me saying not to worry.but anxiety only aggrivates the issue. The sooner you get diagnosed the sooner you can get the appropriate treatment. I was prescribed "Citalopram" which is a anti depressant that has helped me cope with my condition helping with any anxiety. As you say, some times medication that is taken for other medical condition that you suffer from can have detrimental effects on other problems that you have.

    ?I hope that you find the answers to your problems soon.  In my opening letter that I wrote when joining this discussion I said that I have started attending my local " crohns & colitis" society meetings, where you have a social get together with fellow sufferes of these complaints, which I find more informative than going to the doctors.

    ?You can find where your local branch is by entering the "crohns & colitis uk" website

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    • Posted

      It was good to see your reply to Bogmonster as I suddenly was aware that there were others who had suffered from Crohns for as long as, or maybe longer than me. It really is a horrid complaint and still has a go at me occasionally. I've no doubt you have been through similar things to me, 3 re-sections and then finally a colostomy when I was about 45 because a Professor at St Marks in London, had said I was risking Cancer because of the continual ulceration. Took a long time to accept my "outside loo" as my brother in law calls it, but eventually all came good, with the wonderful help of a brilliant gastro-entermologist who saw me through a lot of hiccups. I had dropped in weight by about 6 stone and quite frankly looked as if I had been a victim of Belsom. So many unhelpful sides to this complaint and returning to the Bogmonster, I am sure like me and many others the last thing you want to say to someone is that you think they have Crohns!!  I don't know the tablet that you mentioned for anxiety and stress, but I do know that I was on steroids for something like 15 years, and in the end weaned myself off them, which took about two years, but I was much happier when I knew what I was suffering, as opposed to a sham screen which ws happening because of the steroids. Certainly i owe my life to them, but unfortunately they leave you with crippling arthritis as well as everything else.  Hope you are going through a good time at the moment and I certainly feel better when the weather is warmer.  Best Wishes Sheila      

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  • Posted

    Hi, thanks for the replies. On my holiday now so not too much access to the internet. I guess I am just panicking, that is what gad does to me. Have had terrible toilet problems on holiday. Just looking forwards to some answers. Anal stenosis does not apparently have many causes so I guess that is why my surgeon is talking about Chron's. Most of the other options don't apply to me.

    BW, BM.

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  • Posted

    Well, only one day to go until the sigmoidoscopy so some answers soon. I have been on holiday and had some BM issues. One of my stools got so stuck that I had to use my fingers to dig it out - yuck. I have been close to that a number of times but this was the first time that no amount of straining was going to move the stool. On researching anal stenosis I have found 'causes of anal stenosis include surgery of the anal canal, trauma, inflammatory bowel disease, radiation therapy, venereal disease, tubercolosis, and chronic laxative abuse'. Surgery, trauma, radiation therapy, venereal disease, turburculosos and chronic laxative abuse do not apply to me ao I am anxious about what they will find.

    Further reading yields 'Milsom and Mazier[6] distinguished mild (tight anal canal can be examinated by a well-lubricated index finger or a medium Hill-Ferguson retractor), moderate (forceful dilatation is required to insert either the index finger or a medium Hill-Ferguson retractor), and severe anal stenosis (neither the little finger nor a small Hill-Ferguson retractor can be inserted unless a forceful dilatation is employed)'. On that basis I would think I have medium anal stenosis. Years ago a clinician approached me with some instrument to look at my anus. He soon gave up because there was no way in hell that instrument was going to go up my backside without extreme pain.

    I will report back how it goes.

    BW, BM

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