I won't bore you with my long drawn out story about all the things that my messed up body has put me through, but, suffices to say that I've had diarrhea off and on (mostly on) for about 15 years. (I know, I know....don't say it.) Then it likes to alternate with no BM's for a few days, as if my intestines are "all cleared out" and then I'll have one very hard BM and the diarrhea starts all over again. I have developed difficulty swallowing. I have joint pain and have severe lumbar spinal arthritis (DX at age 30). I get these weird mouth sore things. I'm super fatigued all the time. They found that my B-12 level was low about 2 years ago, so I give myself injections and they were sure that this was going to make me "all better". It did help, as having super low B-12 is life threatening. I had been in and out of the hospital several times up to that point with fainting spells, dehydration, low oxygen levels, etc. I've ran unexplained fevers for weeks on end. I get the chills just out of nowhere. I know where every bathroom is any place I go, because when I gotta go, I gotta GO!!!!
I've been worked up for everything under the sun and treated for a ton of things that I ended up not even having. However, I've never really addressed the whole idea that the GI tract could be my culprit. I'm having a colonosocpy just to "see" why my intestines are so unhappy.
HOWEVER-----I should weigh about 50 lbs for how much I poop, yet, I'm technically obese. I was part of the "genome project" when they thought that I had Parkinson's Disease (long story) and found out that I carry every mutated gene for Crohn's Disease and that my risk of getting it was like 27%. Very high compared to the average person. I also carry every obesity gene in spades. My whole family is heavy. My question remains....can I be a fatty AND have Crohn's?
Hi Becca, I have not heard the theory that if a person is overweight they can't get Crohn's Disease. Crohn's is an autoimmune disease and as far as I know anyone can be a candidate for getting an autoimmune disease, although some people may be more at risk genetically. But genetic inheritance is not the whole story and it is likely to be an interaction between genes and environment that causes a person to develop Crohn's or another autoimmune disease.
The chills you mention that you get out of nowhere --- I get those too, they are horrible aren't they?! I have Crohn's in the small bowel, and with me the chills are caused by the inflammation.
The colonoscopy will be useful. But you may want to think about having some small bowel investigations such as a barium small bowel follow through xray, or a small bowel enema with xray. These are the main two initial diagnostic tests for small bowel diseases.
Autoimmune diseases of all sorts run in my family, unfortunately. Plus, having had the genetic test come back showing me as having ever single possible mutated gene FOR Crohn's PLUS all the symptoms I've been living with for years, it seemed like it was time to get the test done.
Becca - we have similar health histories. I was recently diagnosed with Celiac disease. You may want to consider testing for that as it can cause many of the symptoms you have, plus they are now finding that a large portion of the obese population has this disease. Along with the diarrhea, fatigue and nutritional deficiencies, Celiac disease can make you absolutely nonstop hungry! Your body is not getting the nutrients it needs, thus you always feel hunger. You have symptoms that, in my mind, are almost yelling that you have Celiac. The joint pain, constant diarrhea, needing B12 shots - please go get tested and see if this is what you have! Going gluten-free may enable you to completely change your lifestyle! I know - I had very similar symptoms and was overweight. Hope this helps!
Yes, you CAN have Crohn's if you are obese... it's an autoimmune disorder. I am living proof... I was diagnosed with Crohn's (which has been reconfirmed several times since) over 10 years ago, and I am obese. Although, I did lose 90 pounds when I was very sick (throwing up everything, etc.), and later gain it back (sadly), and have lost some at times in my life that I was VERY sick. Good luck w/the doctor appointment. I was mis-diagnosed with other things (and even had one dr. tell me I was bulemic... UM, NO, I'm not...) for two years prior...
Yes, you can absolutely have crohn's disease if you are obese. Trust me, I know... and I was diagnosed over 10 years ago (which has been reconfirmed several times.) Although there have been times I lost large amounts of weight when I was very very sick (and gained it back later, boo!)
i've heard that celiac is kinda hard to diagnose. i've actually wondered for awhile now if i have celiac or crohn's.
People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye, and barley, so try reading ingredient labels and cutting those things out for a couple weeks and see if anything improves.
I know that General Mills makes a bunch of varieties of Chex cereal that are gluten free and they now say it really big on the front of the boxes.
I've thought I was lactose intolerant for awhile now too, so I cut out cow's milk and started drinking soy milk. Well that still didn't seem to help, so I cut out the soy milk too and started drinking this rice milk called Rice Dream.
so far it seems to really be helping my diarrhea, so you might try a combination of rice or corn chex with rice milk.
ever since having my son i've had mixed IBS. some days i'll be constipated, other days i'll have diarrhea. i used to only get diarrhea. i've dealt with this since i started puberty.
it also seems to help if i eat a medum sized green apple once a day. for some people though, it might not be a good idea. apples are strange, they can constipate you or give you diarrhea or just make you regular.
i will also drink metamucil every so often. i tried drinking it every day for awhile there and it really helped the first week i tried it, but then i dont know what happened but it bound me up real bad. maybe i was getting fiber somewhere else in my diet and wasn't drinking enough water. who knows.
i am in the process of getting my thyroid checked out. just waiting to hear the results. my mom had hyperthyroidism then later had to get her gallbladder out.
i'm thinking i would have hypothyroidism if i had it at all though because i'm a little overweight.
i know i sound like a hypochondriac here, lol, but autoimmune diseases run in my family.
There's a lot more to Crohn's besides just diarrhea... although that's often how it starts. Crohn's eventually will likely get a lot worse... for example, I was throwing up everything, which got worse over 2 years... but eventually ended up in the emergency room with an abscessed fistula (over the years since had 5-6) and had to have emergency surgery, which eventually led to tests to get it properly diagnosed. Now, not so much my stomach as it is my guts, and it's more complicated than just diarrhea, although you may not recognize other symptoms if you do have it.
My old roommate had Celiac disease... if she did not eat gluten, she had ZERO symptoms, but if she ate a brownie or something with gluten, she'd have it bad shortly thereafter. I think there is a blood test they can do for it, but I'm not sure (kinda like an allergy test and they see if there's a reaction.)
There are typically "markers" in a blood test which can indicate a potential auto-immune disease (like crohn's)... for example, extremely high platelets, low red and high white (overactive immune system, and anemia)...
If it's bad, you should consider a colonoscopy... the "prep" is the worst part (drinking a gallon of salty stuff, then diarheah for half a day), but it's manageable... they put you under for the procedure, so you don't remember it. A doctor should be able to tell if you have Crohn's (or at least something more than just IBS)... the tissue looks way differently.
I hope that helps... willing to answer questions (if you have any) for either of you gals. I was diagnosed with crohn's 10 years ago (and unfortunately, it's still active and have had several issues with it over the years).
I was diagnosed with crohn's just after giving birth to my last son, 21 yrs ago now. I was 25. Since then this incredibly miserable disease has seen me in and out of hospital several times, with doctors waiting for the intestine to blow out!
My kidneys are damanged from the medication and constant dehydration. I have been on such high doses of steroid that an ex bf seeing me at the local chemist didn't even recognise me even while I was speaking directly to him! i go from looking like Twiggy to looking like a Biggest Loser contestant, all in a matter of weeks. The skin on my feet can be so tight with excess fluid from steroid therapy that it actually splits open.
I look older than I am. I've also had 2 peri-anal abscess surgeries. The last of which resulted in a fistula. That pain is something I'm still traumatised by, 3 yrs later. I all but refuse to leave my house and haven't seen a major shopping centre in yrs because the fear of having to run for the toilets far out-weighs any shopping-assocciated pleasure. Not once has any dr offered me anti-depressants or other mental therapy.
Not once in all this time has my gastro warned me of the future outcomes of this disease. I'm now trying to get onto low dose naltrexone.
To anyone with this miserable, bastardly condition,
*look after yourself as best you can when it flairs
*seek many doctors and opinions
*join support groups/share info/research
*opt for/combine alternative treatments
*get on a good dose of vitamin D
*pray for stem cell trials
*try worm therapy
Last edited by moderator2; 12-27-2009 at 06:20 AM.
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Celiac is initially diagnosed through a blood test which tests for antiibodies in your blood - thereafter you need to have an endoscopy which takes a small sample of tissue from inside your gut and bowel which will confirm the diagnosis. Thing is you need to be eating Gluten for this to be a successful test as your guts heal themselves in about 6months to 2 years when you stop eating the Gluten.
I have Celiacs and the Gluten free diet has changed my life - even though I didnt really understand that I was ill in the first place.
My friend, however, has Crohns and the docs now think that it was caused by Celiacs - unfortunately she gets so ill when she eats Gluten that they cannot test her properly.