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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Undiagnosed Club » Update: Can't be Crohn's because of constipation?


10-22-2013, 10:43 AM   #1
be_kind_to_owls
 
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Update: Can't be Crohn's because of constipation?

Hi everyone,

So last Thursday (10/17) I had my doctor's appointment with my new GI. I was pretty happy because I was able to see the doctor only after waiting about 10 minutes, which is a vast improvement from things with my previous GI. He took down my symptoms and history of my issues, looked over the test results that were sent over from my previous GI, and pushed on my stomach a bit. He said that he wanted me to get a colonoscopy and I have the procedure scheduled for November 1st.

My question is this: Can someone still be diagnosed with Crohn's Disease if they suffer from constipation from time to time? My new GI basically ruled out Crohn's since he said there is no way I would ever have constipation if I had the disease (even though I suffer symptoms that are not associated with IBS: high CRP level with normal blood work, waking up and getting sick in the middle of the night, vomiting along with fever and chills during attacks, sometimes going to the bathroom 20+ times a day on bad days, bleeding from the rectum, frequent mouth ulcers, rapid weight loss, loss of appetite, etc.) My new GI said he did want to investigate further since my CRP level was really elevated (37.9 mg/l) so I will be getting that retested the day I get the colonoscopy done. He also said that if I didn't mention the occasional constipation, then he would have immediately thought it was Crohn's due to my symptoms.

I just don't know what to do. I'm in pain almost everyday at this point. Am I crazy for thinking that this something more serious than "just IBS"? For years I had stomach issues but things have never gotten this bad before. At this point I'm just ready to completely give up on the testing and try to live life like this the best I can. No use spending all this money on normal tests, right?
10-22-2013, 11:20 AM   #2
Jimena
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Hi and welcome!

You def can have crohns AND constipation. I do, and there is many of us how have constipation as a main symptom.

I really hope you get answers when you have you colonoscopy done!
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10-22-2013, 12:21 PM   #3
valleysangel92
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Welcome to the forum! I'm sorry you have been so unwell, but I'm very glad you found us.

Crohns can certainly cause constipation, it was one of my main symptoms before my surgery, and while diarrhea is more common, there are quite a few members who have suffered constipation. If you go to the forum's search function and type in 'constipation' it will show up any threads that talk about it.

Your other symptoms also sound very similar to those of many members. Don't give up. It is not crazy, you know your own body and you know when you aren't well, don't let the doctors convince you otherwise. You need to get these tests done and get some answers, you don't have to suffer.

We are all here for you, we will all do our best to support and comfort you and to answer any questions that you have. Everyone here is very friendly and we all understand what it's like to be where you are now. We have all been there before or watched a loved one, and we are all here to fight with you. We're all in this together here.
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10-22-2013, 01:47 PM   #4
SarahD
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As others have said, having constipation does not rule out having Crohn's, and I'd question any GI that told you otherwise.

Good luck with the colonoscopy, whilst I hope you don't have IBD I hope you manage to get some answers.

Sarah
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10-22-2013, 04:52 PM   #5
Kev
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I don't want to bad talk your new GI, but one of the worst, most painfull, and frightening aspects of Crohns is constipation. Although the big 'D' is nasty (diarrhea), the reverse... the big 'C' (constipation) is scary. The thoughts of obstruction, prolapse, of having your tract rupture... most of the time I suffered near constant diarrhea, so much so I'd pray for it to stop... but the occasional bouts of constipation were no relief. The pain is off the charts... and I would get agonizing headaches (absolutely no connection to the content of my brainpan). I know countless others on here who have experienced both.... and I would hazard a guess most hate the big C worse than the big D.
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10-22-2013, 05:08 PM   #6
hawkeye
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Have had constipation the past few years when I am flaring so yes it can be Crohn's with constipation. And yes I hate the big C more than the big D as Kev says
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10-22-2013, 05:11 PM   #7
Trysha
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Agree with both above
10-22-2013, 05:12 PM   #8
Trysha
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I agree with all the above posts.
Some GIs think it is remission------it certainly is not and it can be fiercely painful.
10-22-2013, 05:23 PM   #9
my little penguin
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Constipation here for my son ....so in a word yes you can have crohn's and constipation.
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10-22-2013, 07:51 PM   #10
Johnnysmom
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My son has only had constipation.

His GI said it was because his disease was mainly in his small bowel. It is not uncommon at all to have constipation with crohn's. It is misconception though, our pediatrician thought the same thing. I would think a GI would know better.
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10-22-2013, 10:53 PM   #11
Kittee
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Same. And usually cycle between the two.
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10-23-2013, 04:22 AM   #12
Mattie
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Your Gi is wrong. My crohns went undiagnosed for many years because one of my symptoms was constipation. Only when I started to lose copious amounts of blood along with diarrhea was crohns suspected. And then only after one consultant told me the bleeding was from haemorrhoids!
10-23-2013, 06:30 AM   #13
Josephine
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Crohns disease you can both big D and C together. I am flaring since March this year and which starting all off was big C. I had Colonoscopy which show nothing due steroids for ten weeks but now just had Sigmoid flexible test which shown Crohns in large bowel.
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10-23-2013, 08:09 AM   #14
be_kind_to_owls
 
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Thank you all for the responses!

I'm pretty easygoing, but lately I have been so frustrated with the GI doctors that I have seen! From doing research over the past few months I noticed that many of my symptoms fit under Crohn's Disease. I've suspected I had IBS ever since I was a teenager (I'm 23 now) but I never went to a doctor about it because I didn't get sick that often and the pain was only minor and completely manageable. But over the past two years (especially in the past couple of months) I have noticed so many "reg flag" symptoms that I never used to have before when I suspected that I had IBS. I really began to worry and finally went to a doctor about it.

I just don't understand how I have many of the symptoms of an IBD and the doctors will acknowledge that I do, but then will completely rule out the possibility that I have Crohn's since I have constipation along with the diarrhea. Usually my symptoms do cycle. I'll have diarrhea almost everyday for over a month and then it just switches to extreme constipation in which I'm lucky to go to the bathroom twice in ten days. My stomach gets so distended that I literally look 6 months pregnant (and I have a pretty flat stomach). Whether it be a diarrhea flare or a constipation flare, I can't remember the last time I went a day with zero stomach pain or the last time I had a normal BM.

I just don't know how to convince these doctors that something is seriously wrong with me. It's not like I am a hypochondriac that goes to the doctor for every little thing. I just want to be taken seriously and find out what is going on with me
10-23-2013, 08:54 AM   #15
Mattie
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I feel for you BKTO because I've been there. My crohns went undiagnosed for years and I, too, gave up going to doctors because they always said its IBS, learn to live with it. Only when my symptoms became uncontrollable in early 2009 did doctors start to take me seriously, and even then got it wrong by saying the bleeding came from hemmies!

I've seen you're having a colonoscopy in November which should move you forward. Insist on having a faecal calprotectin test too. This is the golden test for crohns and will rule it in or out.

Best of luck and keep us posted of your progress.
10-23-2013, 09:04 AM   #16
Mattie
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I feel for you BKTO because I've been there. My crohns went undiagnosed for years and I, too, gave up going to doctors because they always said its IBS, learn to live with it. Only when my symptoms became uncontrollable in early 2009 did doctors start to take me seriously, and even then got it wrong by saying the bleeding came from hemmies!

I've seen you're having a colonoscopy in November which should move you forward. Insist on having a faecal calprotectin test too. This is the golden test for crohns and will rule it in or out.

Best of luck and keep us posted of your progress.
10-25-2013, 11:14 AM   #17
be_kind_to_owls
 
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Thank you Mattie!

It's funny because I got a call from the hospital where I am getting my colonoscopy at next week. The lady just wanted me to answer some quick questions and give me some instructions on how to prepare for my procedure. The first question that she asked was for me to explain my symptoms, which I did. Then she asked me "Oh, so you have Crohn's?" I told her that I was still undiagnosed, and then she told me "Oh, well my son was diagnosed with Crohn's and he had all the same exact symptoms as you right before he was diagnosed". At least she was convinced that something more serious was going on than just IBS lol
10-25-2013, 02:31 PM   #18
Jison0612
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I never have the big "d" when I'm flaring I get really constipated and my poops are hard to pass but I rarely ever have the big "d"
10-27-2013, 06:46 PM   #19
JenS
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YES!! When I had Crohn's bad in 1997-2004 I had diarrhea. This time around (and it's all just starting), I didn't believe it was Crohn's because I was constipated!!!
10-28-2013, 01:22 PM   #20
jwfoise
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Thank you all for the responses!

I'm pretty easygoing, but lately I have been so frustrated with the GI doctors that I have seen! From doing research over the past few months I noticed that many of my symptoms fit under Crohn's Disease. I've suspected I had IBS ever since I was a teenager (I'm 23 now) but I never went to a doctor about it because I didn't get sick that often and the pain was only minor and completely manageable.
Hi be_kind_to_owls (love your handle).

I see you are from Ohio. I'm from the Cleveland area and I have Colitis and my wife has Crohn's. There are good GI departments associated with both University Hospital and the Cleveland Clinic. I don't know what part of the state you are in, but maybe you should consider a different doctor.

Before my wife got her ostomy, constipation was the major problem she had with her Crohn's; as others have said, it makes no sense your doctor would say otherwise.
10-29-2013, 09:44 AM   #21
be_kind_to_owls
 
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jwfoise:

Thanks for the advice . I actually live in the Youngstown area so Cleveland isn't too far away from me (about an hour and 20 minute drive). From doing research on doctors, everyone around here swore by the one I am currently seeing and said not to try finding a doctor in a major city until I consulted with this one. So far I am not incredibly pleased.

The first GI doctor that I was referred to my doctor had no idea what he was doing and was incredibly incompetent. I told him all of my red flag symptoms and stressed that during major flares I deal with serious issues (vomiting, not being able to sleep for more than an hour at a time because I keep waking up and have to use the bathroom, major bleeding to the point that when the diarrhea finally stops I keep pushing out blood, fever and chills, etc.) and he had the nerve to tell me it was probably IBS and that I was overreacting. From researching on my own, I know that IBS does not cause bleeding and the other symptoms that I was having, so I switched doctors.

The new doctor I currently have is better than the last and one of the most regarded GI's in my area. I told him all of my symptoms, but he told me that since I switch between constipation and diarrhea, it's probably just IBS since if I had Crohn's I would have diarrhea every day and that he never heard of a Crohn's patient having constipation. He said the only "red flag" symptom that he saw was that my CRP was really elevated. He completely disregarded the vomiting, bleeding, and fever and chills and told me that those happen with IBS flares too

I think if my colonoscopy comes out clear I'm going to look into doctors at the Cleveland Clinic. I had IBS ever since I was a teenager, but I never had any of the intense symptoms that I am having now (they started while I was attending college, and have gotten progressively worse in the past few months). I just feel that no doctor is taking me seriously and I am getting really sick of it.
12-16-2013, 01:00 AM   #22
Naturelover
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I just don't know how to convince these doctors that something is seriously wrong with me. It's not like I am a hypochondriac that goes to the doctor for every little thing. I just want to be taken seriously and find out what is going on with me
I'm with you. I don't know how to convince the docs to actually do some testing and figure out what is wrong. I've been told for years it's IBS-C without any test being done. Reduce stress, see a physchiatrist, see a gyn (Can't say that now. I had a hystorectomy.) See a urologist. Done that been there. Not the problem. I've said for years it's my colon and no one will listen to me. Finally got a doc to do an endoscopy about a year and a half ago and sure enough, what I thought was happening is. Esophagitis, gastritis, GERD, possible delayed gastric empting. So why can't there be issues with the rest of the GI systom? Why aren't more test being run?

Thanks for listening,
Naturelover
12-18-2013, 12:56 PM   #23
mccindy
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I've had constipation for most of my life. I was once diagnosed with Crohn's but my current GI took that diagnosis away from me and told me it's IBS-C. I've had a colonosopy with biopsies but he said he didn't see any sign of Crohn's. It's pretty frustrating. He even put me on a medication that is specifically for IBS-C and it didn't work. I've kind of just given up and tried to manage it myself with psyllium, stool softeners, diet and the occasional laxative.
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12-29-2013, 02:22 AM   #24
Naturelover
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I've had constipation for most of my life.
Have you had a Sitz Marker study done to see if you have slow transit constipation?
12-30-2013, 08:36 AM   #25
mccindy
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Have you had a Sitz Marker study done to see if you have slow transit constipation?
No, I haven't. I don't think I've even heard of it..... I'll have to ask my GI about it when I see him again. Although who knows, at this point I'm frustrated enough to just give up. The pain in my right middle abdomen is there pretty much every day, and since my medication has taken away most of my appetite, it's difficult to make myself eat enough. When I do, I'm almost always constipated, even though I take 8 Docusate Sodium and 6 tbsp of psyllium fiber daily. Sometimes I take an overnight laxative just to help me go, but the last couple times, that barely worked (probably because I had eaten beef, which always does make me more constipated for about three-five days).
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