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Posted by Rebecca on October 15, 2000 at 03:32:11:

In Reply to: JRA and bowel problems posted by carol on June 05, 2000 at 05:42:27:

: My 10 year old son has JRA. I have just been given the results of a barium x ray he had done and it seems he has a bowel abnormality and inflammation. I have heard of a link between rhuematoid arthritis and bowel problems, that the bowel disorder can trigger off a bodily reaction that in turn causes the arthritis?? I`m not too clear on this. Is anyone in this position or know anything about the arthritis-bowel disorder connection?
: If i am thinking correctly this would make sense, he has always had a "funny tummy" since he was a baby, and when he was a toddler the doctor said he had IBS. He has taken various medicines over the years for colicky type pain, and also because he suffers alot from digestive problems too. It took this long for the doctors to finally investigate his symptoms, i`m glad they have but i am so worried incase this is Crohns. What does this mean for a child? I have another week before we go back to the hospital, so any information would be so welcome.
: thankyou
: carol

I am 20 years old, and about 18 months ago I was diagnosed with Crohn's Disease. About six months ago, I woke up one morning and noticed I couldn't straighten my left arm. At first I thought I had just slept on it funny, but I visited my GP that day, and she was pretty sure it was rhuematoid arthritis. After having my arm X-rayed this was confirmed and I was prescribed with Celebrex which is an anti inflammatory to try and reduce pain and swelling. When I first was diagnosed, the pain was barely there but over time it became a lot worse, particularly over Winter (I'm from Australia, thats why I've just finished Winter). Not only is the arthritis in my arm but both my knees aswell. I got more celebrex from my doctor, but I really try to avoid taking any tablets as I have to take enough tablets everyday to control my Crohn's disease. I only take Celebrex when it is really bad, but I try not to keep taking it as after a while it seems to have no benefit.
I actually started doing gym work two weeks ago, and I think the exercise seems to be helping. When I exercise, my arm is only slightly bent but I have to be careful beacuse some exercises actually aggravate my joints and I end up feeling worse.
My doctor told me it is very common for people with Crohn's disease to develop rhuematoid arthritis but I don't really know whether over time it will become worse, better or stay the same. I don't know if I'll ever be able to straighten my arm again.
If anyone has any comments, feel free to email me.

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