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Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Was Crohn's my fault?


04-14-2017, 03:49 PM   #1
tennisfan
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Was Crohn's my fault?

Hi All - I was diagnosed with Crohn's when I was a sophomore in college (~18 y/o), but I remember having symptoms even earlier, when I was in high school (~15 y/o). As I struggle with this disease, I often feel guilty because as strange as it sounds, I believe I brought this disease on myself.

You see, my parents are immigrants and they came to America with nothing and always instilled in me the value of education. I definitely took the message to heart. I pushed myself extremely hard when I was young. I had to be the top of my class, to be involved in as many activities as possible, to be "perfect". The stress took a toll on me and made me very ill. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with Crohn's.

Now, at 26, as I am struggling with another possible flare up of Crohn's, I feel horrible because I think I caused this disease. Crohn's is chronic and will never go away but maybe if I took better care of myself when I was younger, that I somehow could have prevented my genes from going stray and causing this disease.

Now, I have this chronic disease and I can't do anything about it. Can anyone else relate or offer insight? I would very much appreciate your help.
04-14-2017, 04:28 PM   #2
Maya142
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Crohn's is not caused by stress!! Please do not feel guilty. There are babies who are diagnosed with Crohn's - they can't possibly be stressed out! It's thought to be a combination of genetics and possibly environment.

Try to be kind to yourself. You did nothing to make yourself get Crohn's. It's just bad luck.

I have two daughters. Both of them have Ankylosing Spondylitis, a type of inflammatory arthritis, but only the younger one has Crohn's. They are both positive for a gene associated with AS.

Both did very well in school and were very high stress kids . They have both found different ways to cope with stress - my younger daughter loves adult coloring books and playing with her cats and talking to her psychologist, and my older daughter likes exercising when she is stressed out.

Focus on getting the Crohn's under control and taking care of yourself. It might be worth talking to a therapist about your feelings - to help you come to terms with what has happened. A support group may also help - CCFA has them in many areas, I believe.

I'm going to tag some other members:
my little penguin
Clash
Tesscorm
pdx
__________________
Mom of M (20)
diagnosed with Crohn's Disease at 16
Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis at 12
Juvenile Ankylosing Spondylitis at 16

Mom of S (23)
dx with JIA at 14
Ankylosing Spondylitis at 18
04-14-2017, 04:32 PM   #3
Sophabulous
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Hi there!

You remind me of me! I was incredibly ambitious and wanted it all. I wanted to come away with a first class degree, keep competing my horses and work almost full time. All this did was lead me to ignore a lot of stuff I shouldn't have ignored.

Last year was absolutely awful and everything came crashing down around me. Not just being diagnosed with Crohn's, the whole thing was a shit show (pun intended!)

That taught me so much. I've taken a massive step back, and I'm actually achieving more as a result. Instead of pushing myself for 120% all the time, I've realised it's ok to give less overall if it means I can go on for longer.

That was a very tough learning curve but I came through it stronger than ever. I'm actually overcautious with my health now, as I know if I look after myself better I can do more than the average person without a chronic illness. In fact today I went for a deep tissue massage after suffering with terrible back pain for many years instead of ignoring it as usual!

You are not to blame at all, you can't help the genes you were born with! It's how you manage this going forward that counts and shows what you're made of. You can still have it all, I certainly feel that I do. I have a fantastic job (I didn't while being diagnosed, which didn't help) I just have to work harder on my health and be more mindful of keeping myself well to maintain it. That's where you have the edge, most people don't take any notice, when you have Crohn's you know better.

Things will be tough going forward for sure, but that ambition will help you so much in getting over the bad days. Being pigheaded is definitely not a bad thing provided you can find a balance between taking over the world and looking after yourself ;-)

Please don't blame yourself! I have a brother who is the polar opposite of me in every respect, never held down a job, no hobbies etc and he is now showing similar symptoms to mine when I was first diagnosed. That's just pure environment, we couldn't be more different!

Please don't blame yourself, it won't help you in the long run and it won't change anything.

Wishing you all the luck in the world!
__________________
Diagnosed severe Crohn's of the Duodenum, Terminal Ilium and Cecum.

Currently taking Azathioprine 100mg, Esomeprazole 40mg, B12 Injections and various supplements. Azathioprine failing so awaiting next steps
04-15-2017, 07:11 AM   #4
tennisfan
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
Thank you both for your kind words. You've definitely helped me feel better! I guess I'm still trying to find my balance between working hard and taking care of myself. I have identified that I have certain "pattern responses" to my symptoms. For example, being in certain places, being alone, or working past a certain hour seem to trigger my symptoms more. It was like this for my other flares as well - almost like a psycho-physiological response.

Also, sometimes I don't know if my feelings are causing my symptoms or if they are the result of my symptoms. I understand that the GI tract has a lot of neuro-regulators like serotonin, dopamine, etc. There must be a mind/body connection?

Have either of you experienced this? It's very strange. It's so hard to understand my body sometimes.
04-15-2017, 12:30 PM   #5
Maya142
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For my daughter, she tends to have more symptoms if she is REALLY stressed out. But that doesn't always correlate with inflammation. For example, once a scope showed she was in remission, but she still has diarrhea several times a day. She was very anxious and we worked with a psychologist, and her symptoms got better.

In her case, her GI thinks she has both IBS and IBD. IBS is what gets worse when she is anxious or stressed out and they actually sometimes use anti-depressants in small doses to treat it.

Once she figured out how to deal with stress, we haven't had trouble with those "IBS type symptoms" since then, except rarely (for example, if she has a big test at school, she may go to the bathroom a few more times than normal).

In her case, seeing a psychologist and learning some relaxation techniques really helped.

The mind and body are very connected - it's definitely true that you need to take care of both. BUT I would not blame yourself for IBD - that is not brought on by stress.
04-15-2017, 09:53 PM   #6
pdx
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You definitely didn't cause your Crohn's with stress! There's no evidence that stress leads to Crohn's, and I know several very non-stressed-out people with Crohn's. Please don't blame yourself. That said, I think reducing your stress levels is a good goal, just for general health. (Easier said than done, I know.) Best of luck to you.
__________________
Daughter E (15) dx with Crohn's 12/18/14 at age 12

Current treatment:

Remicade started 12/24/14 (currently on 9 mg/kg every 6 weeks)
Oral methotrexate restarted 12/2/16 (15 mg weekly)
vitamin D, folic acid, multivitamin, Prozac

Past Treatment
90% EN via NG tube 2/9/15 - 4/2/15
50% EN via NG tube 4/3/15 - 4/18/15
Supplemental EN via NG tube 5/7/15-6/19/15
Budesonide 3/3/15-6/30/15
Oral methotrexate 3/13/15 - 5/14/16 (15 mg weekly)
Topical clobetasol for Remicade-induced psoriasis
04-16-2017, 06:39 PM   #7
Tesscorm
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Location: Ontario

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Also agreeing that stress, nor anything else you've done, caused crohns. In no way was this your fault! But, as pdx said, learning to manage and reducing your stress would be beneficial in many ways.

I'd also encourage you to speak with a psychologist - they can help you learn how to step back and manage stress so that it doesn't overwhelm you. And, also remember, that you can still reach your goals without rushing toward them. My daughter would often become overwhelmed and stressed with her assignments/exams through high school but, she met with a psychologist for a few sessions and it helped immensely. She chose to take a lighter course load throughout university and, while it took her an extra 1.5 to 2 years longer, she's still finished with her degree. And it was much more manageable. She's never regretted taking that extra time.

__________________
Tess, mom to S, 22
Diagnosed May 2011

Treatment:
May-July 2011 - 6 wks Exclusive EN via NG tube - 2000 ml/night, 1 wk IV Flagyl
July 2011-July 2013 - Supplemental EN via NG, 1000 ml/night, 5 nites/wk, Nexium, 40 mg
Feb. 2013-present - Remicade, 5 mg/kg every 6 wks
Supplements: 1-2 Boost shakes, D3 - 2000 IUs, Krill Oil
04-21-2017, 03:21 PM   #8
MizzSarah
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Join Date: Oct 2016

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Stress can cause you to flare but it is not the reason someone get Crohn's. In my case Crohn's was passed on to me by my father. My father believes his biological father also had some intestinal issues as well. Long before I was diagnosed I was told I had a genetic predisposition to developing it. I thought what I was doing to try to reduce the chance of getting it would work but it didn't.
__________________
Crohns Disease
2014
Meds: Humira & Entocort
2nd Gen affected
04-21-2017, 07:23 PM   #9
Vjbordessa
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
s diagnosed with Crohn's when I was a sophomore in college (~18 y/o), but I remember having symptoms even earlier, when I was in high school (~15 y/o). As I struggle with this disease, I often feel guilty because as strange as it sounds, I believe I brought this disease on myself.

You see, my parents are immigrants and they came to America with nothing and always instilled in me the value of education. I definitely took the message to heart. I pushed myself extremely hard when I was young. I had to be the top of my class, to be involved in as many activities as possible, to be "perfect". The stress took a toll on me and made me very ill. Ultimately, I was diagnosed with Crohn's.

Now, at 26, as I am struggling with another possible flare up of Crohn's, I feel horrible because I think I caused this disease. Crohn's is chronic and will never go away but maybe if I took better care of myself when I was younger, that I somehow could have prevented my genes from going stray and causing this disease.

Now, I have this chronic disease and I can't do anything about it. Can anyone else relate or offer insight? I would very much appreciate your help.[/QUOTE]
04-21-2017, 07:44 PM   #10
Vjbordessa
 
Join Date: Apr 2017
I believe after trying to research it as you do stress definitely triggers it
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