My symptoms are as follows: Diarrhea, severe abdominal pain (can be upper and/or lower), relief of pain when completely empty, going to the restroom doesn't always alleviate pain, skin rashes always coming right before my bouts (left arm and waistline), unexplained chills right before bouts (sometimes). I also get blood in my stool possibly from rectal bleeding from pushing too hard, but it is hard to tell.
These bouts last for about 2-6 weeks, and there is no relief. I usually go to the restroom about 6-15 times in the morning before I stabilize. From there, if I need to go to work, I have to time my next meal so that I will not have pains until I am off of work. These bouts come 2-4 months apart, and happen 3-5 times a year. All OTC diarrhea medications have no effect.
I went to several doctors. I was tested for giardra, gastroenteritis, etc. and came out negative for everything involving bacteria, fungii etc. Just to be safe, the doctor put me on Cipro for 15 days, which had no effect. The next few times I had a bout, I also developed a perirectal abscess which had to be cut. CT scans came back normal. My blood count showed that I was very slightly anemic. A colonoscopy turned up normal, but I could not 100% complete the procedure because I moved about while sedated. Upon being told I cold be allergic to something in my diet, I went on a diet of white rice and white rice pooridge for about a month but I had the runs anyway.
A few things seem to precede my bouts which may or may not be coincidence: Changes in smoking habits (quitting or starting again), ingestion of ibuprofen seems to really aggravate my system, drinking anything stronger than beer sometimes does it, and eating more vegetables.
I have a feeling it is Crohn's and have told doctor's this repeatedly. However, with my clear colonoscopy, they are reluctant to diagnose it so that I may try some treatment options. These bouts only started about two years ago, although as I think about it now in retrospect, I've had bouts of abdominal pain without diarrhea since about 5 years ago. The unexplained rashes on my arm and my waistline occur almost every time I have a bout now, and the first time I got the same rash on my left arm and waistline was possibly 10 or more years ago.
I did binge drink for a while, 5-8 years back, which leads me to think that this may be related to alcohol related damage, though it could be completely unrelated also. Right now I take no medications except prilosec on and off for heartburn that comes and goes (especially with coffee). I also don't drink rarely and small quantities if I do. I smoke about 0-3 cigarettes per day.
Recognize the risks associated with Crohn’s disease.
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