Up to two million people in the United States alone suffer from varying degrees of Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. Here are some fact about this debilitating condition. Crohn's Disease, named after the physician who first described it in 1932, is an inflammatory disease of the digestive system. Although normally causing ulceration in the small and large intestines, it can affect the digestive tract anywhere between mouth and anus. Ulcerative Colitis, however, is confined solely to the colon. Both of these conditions are collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) - they are both chronic and there is no known cure. Both tend to have periods of inactivity (remission) and activity (relapse) and most often commence during early adulthood, though they can occur at any time in life. Both men and women are affected equally. Although it is thought that Crohn's Disease may be caused by certain strains of bacteria this is by no means certain and the definite cause is still unknown. It is not thought that diet is responsible for the disease, although diet may affect the symptoms suffered by patients with the condition. It is known, however, that Crohn's Disease is not contagious. Common symptoms of Crohn's Disease include weight loss, frequent diarrhea and abdominal pain. Less frequent symptoms include rectal pain and bleeding, fever, loss of appetite and night sweats. The disease tends, in its early stages, to cause small erosions, called aphthous ulcers, to appear on the inner surface of the bowel. In time these become true ulcers as they grow deeper, by then causing scarring and stiffness of the bowel. Ultimately the bowel can become obstructed as the scarring narrows it further and further and deep ulcers can perforate the bowel wall. This can release gut bacteria into the body where infection of other organs or the body cavity itself can occur. Another complication can be caused when a fistula forms. This is a channel between the intestine and another organ caused when the bowel ulcers tunnel into another organ. These can include bladder, skin, vagina and anus. These fistulas are one of the most distressing complications for anyone suffering from this condition. Crohn's Disease can also cause complications that may or may not be related to the intestine. Although bowel blockage and colon distension can occur, other areas affected can include the lower back, eyes, joints (arthritis), spine, liver and legs. Full discussion of these conditions is beyond the scope of this article. The disease is often diagnosed by means of Barium X-ray studies performed after the patient has taken barium meal. There are several other methods of diagnosis and these include colonoscopy, CT scanning and video capsule endoscopy, where a small capsule containing a miniature video camera is swallowed. This the sends images to a receiver and thence to an analytical computer program, allowing a close study to be made of the bowel lining. As there is no cure for Crohn's disease, treatment goals are to induce and maintain periods of remission, improve the patient's quality of life and to reduce the side-effects of medication. The anti-inflammatory medicines used for treating the disease are similar in many ways for those used in the treatment of arthritic conditions. To summarise, Crohn's disease is a serious condition that has no known cure. It is therefore essential that anyone who has the common symptoms of the disease - severe chronic diarrhea, vomiting, fever and weight loss - consult a doctor at the earliest opportunity. Although this cannot halt the disease, early diagnosis will greatly improve the chances of the patient having a better quality of life than if the disease were to be left undiagnosed and untreated. All the above information is given in good faith but does not pretend to replace the professional opinion of a qualified doctor or medical practitioner.
Frequently Asked Questions
bad pain on the lower left side?
today i was on a walk with my friends and i got this really sharp pain on my lower left side. it was so bad that i could barley move and it hurt to take deep breaths. later that night i had a similar pain, only not as bad. I've had something similar to this happen before but it didn't last this long or hurt this bad. any ideas on what it could be?
Common causes of lower left abdominal pain include diverticulitis, irritable bowel syndrome, left kidney stone, left kidney infection, crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, left ovarian disease, and infection of the left fallopian tubes in women.
Only real answer - you would need to see a doctor for a proper diagnosis.
Helicobacter Pylori causes other health issues?
Here is my story, hoping someone has experienced something similar or has professional answers to all this.
I am a 31 year old mom of four boys. In 2010 I was diagnosed (finally) with H Pylori. I had the symptoms for 15 years and all the other Dr's kept giving me the purple pill, nexium or any other sort of reflux/ulcer meds.
I finally eradicated the H Pylori in 2011 (January) after two bouts of prev pac treatments, the Urea test results finally came back negative or so the dr says. I also had a blood test and endoscope biopsy done prior treatments to make sure it was in fact H Pylori.
Anyhow I got the symptoms back again a few months ago and a bulb went off in my head oh no the infection is back! I have no idea how I got this back all my family members are negative, my mother is still waiting to be tested herself since she has all the symptoms and has so for 20 years. My mother has been diagnosed with multiple auto immune diseases and we strongly believe it was all caused by H Pylori and are waiting for those results. I have been tested again with a Urea Breath test and I am also waiting for results hopefully by next week.
My mother has had liver issues, gallbladder issues, and bad ulcers. And from there her health just progressed and got worse.
I was told by one person H Pylori has been linked to many autoimmune diseases not just gestational issues. I do have the classic symptoms, bloating, pains, bathroom problems, chest pains, etc. But I also have new symptoms that are very scary and very similar to MS.
If anyone can relate or has answers please do tell I am just lost in all of this and have no clue what to think or believe.
These are my symptoms other than the classic stomach issues
-low magnesium levels (had to have IV at the hospital)
heart palpitations/irregular heart beats
-joint and muscle pains/weakness
-vertigo/dizzy spells as if things are off balance
-fatigue (the other day I had to pull into a parking lot and take a quick nap because the pains on my arms and legs were hurting too bad and I felt a heaviness and was extremely exhausted) This has never happened before I am usually a very strong mother of four boys and capable of doing many things myself. Lately I am unable to do anything
Let's not forget bathroom troubles- for the last three days I haven't gone, and have no urge to. But I have an increased urge to pee. This is new.
Hope someone has answers. The Dr's are clueless and running one test after another, awaiting the results for the H pylori to see if it returned.
It is too bad you have had so many medical problems without definite answers.
I have had digestion problems since 1960 when I had a perforated ulcer. Back then it was thought that ulcers were partly caused by worry that causes your stomach lining to spew digestive acid and attack any delicate spot on your stomach lining.
Twenty years ago I participated in a study to determine whether ulcers were caused by bacteria. I was positive for the breath-test that followed with a blood test that confirmed I had an ulcer caused by Helico(coil)bacter(a single bacterium)pylori. I have used Zantac and now Prilosec for 20 years with no problems. I also have GERD(acid-reflux disease)and Hiatal Hernia. One medication treats all my digestive disorders.
Perhaps you can use Google and another source I will mention to research digestive disorders like I have and you have. Maybe you can learn some information from a description of the family of bacteria, Helicobacteraceae. The single bacterium, Helicobacter pylori, is within the family of bacteria, Helicobacteraceae. Look for any mention whether this bacteria causes other illnesses like you suspect.
Here is some information you should research about your vertigo, dizziness and memory failure. The Cochlea is a mechanism within the inner ear that regulates balance and hearing. I had a tumor growing within the cochlea for maybe 20 years, and I was frequently dizzy, had nausea, vomiting,vertigo, could not ride in automobiles and read at the same time. Suspect until you know that there may be a problem with your balance, or motion sickness. I became dizzy looking up at tall buildings and riding in elevators inside hotels. Consider visiting an Ear, Nose, Throat(ENT)specialist.
Vitamin B -complex include six or seven vitamins like Vitamin B6, B12. A Vitamin B- deficiency can make one have memory problems like you describe. My elder brother thought he was developing Alzheimer's because he kept forgetting things and forgot to do chores he did every day. His physician prescribed he take Vitamim-B complex for three weeks. My brother returned to the physician's office in two weeks and declared his memory had returned.
You did not mention any reference to antibiotics. Antibiotics kill Helicobacter pylori and medicines like Zantac, Prevacid, Prilosec help your stomach control acid-flow that can burn. I wonder why your doctor is making you wait for results that Helicobacter pylori has returned to your stomach lining. Once you have an ulcer, antibiotics and acid-reducers should dry-up the ulcer. If you paused taking medication daily for H. pylori, it may be possible of a recurrence or a new bacteria.
The federal government has a dedicated website for diabetes, digestive, and kidney disorders. Go to http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov and click on A to Z. Find the letters for the disorders you think you may have and learn about their symptoms and history. Here are names of other digestive disorders you can investigate that could play a role in your digestion problems: Irritable Bowel Syndrome(IBS); Inflammatory Bowel Disease(IBD)consisting of Celiac Disease, Crohn's Disease Ulcerative Colitis(allergic to gluten), and Celiac Disease(gluten allergy).
I hope you find success in learning answers to your digestion.
what is irritable bowel syndrome?
i had stomach surgery from a virus but its been 2 weeks now and everything i eat goes right through me. Why? will it ever heal?
is a disorder that leads to abdominal pain and cramping, changes in bowel movements, and other symptoms. IBS is not the same as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which includes Crohn's disease ...
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects your large intestine (colon). Irritable bowel syndrome commonly causes cramping, abdominal pain, bloating gas, diarrhea and constipation. Despite these uncomfortable signs and symptoms, IBS doesn't cause permanent damage to your colon.
Most people with IBS find that symptoms improve as they learn to control their condition. Only a small number of people with irritable bowel syndrome have disabling signs and symptoms.
Fortunately, unlike more-serious intestinal diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, irritable bowel syndrome doesn't cause inflammation or changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer. In many cases, you can control irritable bowel syndrome by managing your diet, lifestyle and stress.
It is unclear if diet has much effect on the symptoms of IBS. Nevertheless, patients often associate their symptoms with specific foods (such as salads, fats, etc.). Although specific foods might worsen IBS, it is clear that they are not the cause of IBS. The common placebo response in IBS also may explain the improvement of symptoms with the elimination of specific foods in some people.
Dietary fiber often is recommended for patients with IBS. Fiber probably is of benefit in IBS patients with constipation, but it does not reduce abdominal pain. Lactose (milk sugar) intolerance often is blamed for diarrhea-predominant IBS, but it does not cause IBS. Because they both are common conditions, lactose intolerance and IBS may coexist. In this situation, restricting lactose will improve, but not eliminate the symptoms. Lactose intolerance is easily diagnosed by testing the effect of lactose (hydrogen breath testing) or trying a strict lactose elimination diet. Intolerance to sugars other than lactose, specifically, fructose, sucrose, and sorbitol, may cause symptoms that are similar to IBS or make IBS worse. It is unlikely, however, that these sugars cause IBS.
Upper GI on Tuesday, what do you think this is personally?
- IBS (Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis (sp?)
- Colon Cancer/Polyps
I have a feeling this is one of those because I changed my diet slightly. More fruits and veggies, less soda (I'm a Mt. Dew addict, so it was hard). Before I did, I have a sharp stabbing pain, that turned into an on-going (for 1 month now) dull, achy pain in my right and left abdomin. After I changed my diet, it slowly disappeared, but is still there on occassions. When I move for too long or too much, it starts to hurt. It's worse on my period. I've been constipated for awhile, but when I take M.O.M (milk of mag.), I get unconstipated, but it comes back (sometimes in diarrhea form). It tends to hurt under my right rib and worse when I eat foods (every food plus water). I have horrible nausea and never vomitted, but have been on the edge of it. Off and on headaches, weakness and fatigue. I don't think I left anything out. Ultra-Sound, Urine, and X-Ray's were fine. What do you think this is?
No, it's not Celiac Disease. My gluten processing works fine.
Upper GI as in the Barium X-Ray thing.
BTW, someone please share their experiences with an Upper GI. I'm kinda nervous. Do I just drink the barium stuff and stand or lay on a table for a MRI like thing? Will they do an IV?
An upper GI looks at the stomach and the first part of the small intestine. The conditions you are considering would affect lower in the GI tract. Perhaps a small bowel series or lower GI would be more appropriate.
By the way, q127 described the exam very well. You will be moving in different positions, both standing and laying. The radiologist will tell you when to drink, how to move, and when to hold your breath.
What's wrong with my stomach?
All the sudden my upper abdomen hurts really bad!! I also feel nauseas and shaky. Does anyone know what the heck is wrong? I can tell you what it isn't, it's not constipation, it's not pregnancy, and that's all I know. Ugh it hurts. Idk whether to call out of work.
Gallstones - Symptoms
The most common symptom of gallstones is pain in the stomach area or in the upper right part of the belly, under the ribs.
The pain may:
* Develop suddenly in the center of the upper belly (epigastric area) and spread to the right upper back or shoulder blade area. It is usually hard to get comfortable; moving around does not make the pain go away.
* Prevent you from taking normal or deep breaths.
* Last 15 minutes to 24 hours. Continuous pain for 1 to 5 hours is common.
* Begin at night and be severe enough to wake you.
* Occur after meals.
Gallstone pain can cause vomiting, which may relieve some of the belly (abdominal) pain and pressure. Pain that occurs with a fever, nausea, and vomiting or loss of appetite may be a sign of inflammation or infection of the gallbladder (acute cholecystitis). Symptoms that may mean that a gallstone is blocking the common bile duct include:
* Yellowing of the skin and the white part of the eyes (jaundice).
* Dark urine.
* Light-colored stools.
* A fever and chills.
There are many other conditions that cause similar symptoms, including heartburn, pain caused by a heart attack, and liver problems. Stomach flu (gastroenteritis) and food poisoning also can cause symptoms similar to gallstones. Diarrhea and vomiting occur with the flu and food poisoning, but the pain tends to come and go rather than be constant. Also, pain with these conditions may be felt all over the belly, rather than in one spot.
Gallstones - When To Call a Doctor
Abdominal pain can be a sign of a serious or even life-threatening condition, especially if you have a heart condition or are older than 60. If you are having sudden or severe pain and are not sure what is causing it, you may need immediate medical treatment. You should be especially concerned if you are having trouble breathing or you faint or lose consciousness. For more information, see the topic Abdominal Pain, Age 12 and Older. For more information on abdominal pain in children, see the topic Abdominal Pain, Age 11 and Younger.
Call your doctor immediately if you have:
* Pain that may be caused by gallstones (continuous moderate to severe pain in the upper right abdomen) along with a fever of 100.4F or higher and chills that are clearly not caused by stomach flu or any other reason.
* Pain in the upper midsection or upper right abdomen, along with a yellow tint to your skin and the white part of your eyes, dark yellow-brown urine, or light-colored stools.
* Diabetes or an impaired immune system and you have symptoms that may be caused by gallstones.
If you have symptoms of gallstones but no fever, chills, or yellowing of your skin or the white part of your eyes, you may still require evaluation and treatment. Schedule an appointment with your doctor.
Also do you mean that it's black when you go??
Causes of Melena
Bleeding ulcer. An ulcer is a type of sore on the lining of the stomach which can cause bleeding and result in melena. Contrary to popular belief, stomach ulcers are not usually caused by stress or spicy food (although these can aggravate an already existing ulcer). In fact, they are typically caused by an infection with a bacterium called Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori). Antibiotics are normally prescribed to eliminate the infection.
Another cause of stomach ulcers is the prolonged use of pain medications known as NSAIDs (nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs). NSAIDs can irritate the stomach by weakening the ability of the lining to resist acid made in the stomach. For this same reason, NSAIDs have an adverse effect on Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. NSAIDs include common over-the-counter drugs such as ibuprofen, naproxen sodium and aspirin. Stomach ulcers caused by NSAIDs usually heal after the offending drug is discontinued.
Gastritis. Gastritis is the inflammation of the stomach lining and can be caused by overindulging in alcohol or food, eating spicy foods, smoking, infection with bacteria or prolonged use of NSAIDs. Gastritis can also develop after surgery or trauma, or be associated with already existing medical conditions.
Esophageal varices. Esophageal varices are dilated veins located in the wall of the lower esophagus or upper stomach. When these veins rupture they may cause blood to appear in the stool or vomit. Esophageal varices are a serious complication resulting from portal hypertension brought on by cirrhosis of the liver.