Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » What's your theory on how you got Crohn's Disease?

06-23-2010, 08:09 AM   #1
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What's your theory on how you got Crohn's Disease?

This is strange, but I told my mother I'd post it. She is convinced she knows the reason I got CD. Apparently when I was an infant I would literally eat my wooden crib! She ended up wrapping ace bandages around the frame so I couldn't get to it. Now she is convinced that the splinters have lodged themselves in my intestines and that's how I got Crohn's. lol

I have another theory though. I've heard that it can lay dormant and that there may be enviornmental triggers. There was an old landfill down the street I grew up on that was turned into a park. As kids, we would all ride our bikes and hang out there, and sled down them in winter. I was diagnosed at age 10. This seems more probable to me.

What are your thoughts about triggers and why you got Crohn's?
CD diagnosed 1988
Loop ileostomy 12/20/10
Currently on Bentyl and Ultram
Total proctocolectomy in near future
06-23-2010, 08:12 AM   #2
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I have read everything to the way we poop (the posture on a toilet) to well water to breast-feeding/not breast-feeding, eating toothpaste....

Honestly, my head spins as to the cause! I have no idea. I do believe that it is something environmental. I would be interested to know how many kids got Crohns where you use to play Amy. Are you in touch with any of them? Does anyone in your family have it that did not play there?
Splinters I'll add that to my list of causes...
Dx GERD 2008
Dx Gastritis & hiatal hernia Feb 2010
Dx non-definitive Crohn's June 2010
Dx Endometriosis April 2011

"if nothing changes - nothing changes

06-23-2010, 08:22 AM   #3
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I've posted this around here before somewhere, but at the time I was diagnosed I was finishing my senior year or high school, working part time, and highly involved in my high school color guard as a leader. Things were so stressful that year because of a couple issues we had in the color guard with a few girls and I was just constantly gone. I always had a headache and I was sorta 'depressed' and I took a lot of Aleve. Like everyday. I finally graduated and started worrying about moving to college and meeting new people. Then I had the meningitis vaccine. It's almost like right after that, I started with the big D and it never ended.

So for me stress+vaccine+Aleve= Crohn's

Last edited by katiesue1506; 06-26-2010 at 10:02 PM.
06-23-2010, 08:31 AM   #4
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I think mine was stress related. I have severe anxiety especially about my health, and was having panick attacks everyday. Lost my brother years ago that really affected me. I am 41 so how come so late in life. When I read alot about people getting younger.
Mary Mack

Diagnosed 10/2010 Mild Crohn's
01/2011 Severe Crohn's with fistula

Meds I was on-

Current meds-
Humira 3/11
06-23-2010, 08:36 AM   #5
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I can not pin point anything that caused it.

diagnosis- Oct 2006

remicade every 6 wks
06-23-2010, 08:55 AM   #6
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I had a throat virus, and was popping ibuprofen the 2 weeks before I first got symptoms. So either the virus triggered my immune system to go into overdrive, or the ibuprofen irritated my guts.
Crohn's in the terminal ileum, dxed Jun '10

125mg azathioprine
4g Pentasa
06-23-2010, 09:10 AM   #7
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I don't think that there was anything that caused mine, besides genetics somewhere down the line...although no one in my family (that we know of) has it. I started having IBS in my senior year of college and I don't know what triggered that (maybe stress?). The flare that led to my diagnosis was triggered by a virus I caught.
Diagnosed December 30, 2009
Current Meds: Humira, iron, vitamin d, vitamin c, b12, multivitamin
Also have anemia and anxiety disorder
06-23-2010, 09:57 AM   #8
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My theory is that the trigger was a bacteria in some chinese food that I ate when I was 17. I got a really bad case of food poisoning and my stomach just hasn't been right since.

Diagnosed: August 2006
Current Meds: Imuran (125 mg), Budesonide (9 mg)
06-23-2010, 10:01 AM   #9
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Mine was stress for sure. That and taking ibuprofen for the stress headaches induced by said stress. I have no doubt of it whatsoever.

Crohn's Diagnosis: May 2006
Current meds: none
Surgeries: Colostomy, December 2009

"Never trust a fart." Jack Nicholson, The Bucket List

Oscar is awesome! Loving my life with my stoma (with a hint of poo)!!

06-23-2010, 10:03 AM   #10
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Mine was stress without doubt.
Methotrexate 15mg injection weekly
Infliximab infusion every 7-8 weeks
(& other bits n bobs)

Crohns Disease
Psoriatic Arthritis
Underactive Thyroid


When life hands you psoriasis, don't crumble...
06-23-2010, 10:27 AM   #11
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Stress, ibuprofen, and maybe a virus/bacteria - plus possible genetic predisposition. My great-grandfather had UC, so I'm thinking his IBD genes got passed down to me. I had been kayaking a lot last summer and was taking a lot of ibuprofen for the muscle aches. Then in August of last year, my company did a bunch of layoffs and my department went from 10 people to 2, so I was very stressed and had a lot of "survivor's guilt" at not being laid off. Then in October I think I either ate something funky or got a nasty virus, and I got really ill and never recovered. It's like the stress and ibuprofen started steering my body towards illness, and the virus or whatever set all the dominoes in motion and my immune system never turned itself back off again once the virus was gone. That's my theory, anyway.
06-23-2010, 10:28 AM   #12
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I also say stress. I think if I could lead a totally stress free life, maybe my Crohns would have stayed dorment.

My Crohns started soon after I gave blood for the 1st time back in college. I've always wondered, if that "stress" on the body let it come out. Who knows.

My stress has been highest the last 2-3 years and just look at my signature list. So everyone should take up meditation I suppose.
Crohns since 1989
3 Surgeries - Hemicolectomy '08, Sm Bowel Resection '09, Proctocolectomy '10. Lets hope I'm done now!
On Protonix and Humira.
06-23-2010, 10:32 AM   #13
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Stress could be involved for me as well- the last year work has been more stressful than normal and I have been ill a lot as a result. That's probably why I got so ill from the virus, which then led to the Crohn's.

Since going back to work I have made a conscious effort not to let it bother me- and if I forget and let myself stress the stomach pain soon reminds me to relax!
06-23-2010, 10:32 AM   #14
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I sometimes wonder if my alcoholism caused it. Drinking 150 proof alcohol straight for breakfast cannot be good on your digestive system. Thank God I've been sober for 15 years now.

Surgery 8-2010 removed ileum, appendix, 1.5 ft of colon, 21 lymph nodes and a 5 cm tumor. All lymph nodes tested positive for cancer.

Conclusion: Crohn's is in remission, start chemo for cancer end of Sept, or beginning of Oct.

All my meds are pertaining to surgery healing and stress.

06-23-2010, 11:53 AM   #15
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i'm really not sure if any of this is relevant, or if i'd have got Crohn's anyway but...

i was the youngest of 3 sisters, i had allergies as a kid, my eldest sister had asthma, both my parents suffered with 'sensitive stomachs', my dad had ulcers (peptic i think), someone way back in my mother's family died of a stomach condition - diagnosis unknown..

plus - i had a habit of not wanting to poo when i was little, and would hold onto it until it hurt. i had bad reactions to childhood immunisations, and my mum is convinced i started with tummy troubles after my measles jab.

i hit a patch of intense stress & depression around the age of 14 (moved towns & left all my friends behind), & that's when the symptoms really picked up and i began the whole eating/pain/not eating thing which led to anemia etc etc..

if i do have a theory at all, it's that i was probably born prone to Crohn's, as both my sisters probably were, but there was a catalyst (or more than one maybe) which caused it to progress into the condition.
06-23-2010, 11:59 AM   #16
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STRESS and ANXIETY! My alopecia areata (auto-immune) started 6 months into my first corporate job. It was downhill from there. But my real 1st flare was also stress related. I was so tense and angry from a situation I was in........ 15 minutes later after the altercation I started with the severe cramps and diarrhea. One month later I was diagnosed.
06-23-2010, 12:06 PM   #17
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It started out with genetics for me and my sister because our parents are both carriers and there are other distant family members on both sides who currently have it but one thing bothers me. My sister and I were diagnosed the same year. Knowing this, it would make sense that there was some sort of environmental factor in play. There were water quality issues where we lived among with growing up poor and not eating the best quality of foods plus we both had some sort of serious flu or virus right before I was diagnosed, I think I just got sick faster than she did which could be because of my age. I doubt it was stress as we were 9 and 11 at the time.
Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 75mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel (endometriosis), Tylenol 3 (Osteoarthritis), Zantac 150mg 2/day (acid reflux), Klonopin 1mg (Panic Disorder), Imitrex 25mg (migraines), Zofran 8mg (nausea)
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 19 years and counting.
06-23-2010, 12:20 PM   #18
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I think my trigger was the stress of being pregnant with twins combined with a bout of food poisoning. My sister was also diagnosed with CD a few years ago, so it's definitely a genetic thing too.
Interesting thread
06-23-2010, 12:31 PM   #19
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I got deathly ill after eating a bad hamburger up at the ski hill resulting in a very bad food poisoning. + Stress. First year out of high school not knowing what to do with my life was a terrible burden on me. I'm still in that situation but at least I've got things under control now.
28cm sm and L bowel removed, 200 mg Aza, monthly b12 injection,
calcium + vit d. Enjoying my surgery induced remission!
06-23-2010, 12:50 PM   #20
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I went through a bad divorce and started drinking wine a few glasses a night and would take Ibuprofen so I wouldn't get a headache at night. I really think the ibuprofen had something to do with it as well as the combo of stress and wine :-(
06-23-2010, 01:40 PM   #21
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Looking back I have had minor issues since I was little, gas, bathroom emergencies..ect. But I could always blame it on something. Until last July I definately think stress set it off and I was also taking a very strong nsaid for hip pain I was having. I swear the Mobic is what totally set it off with a vengence.

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06-23-2010, 02:02 PM   #22
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I doubt it was stress as we were 9 and 11 at the time.
I wonder about that Crabby as you are the artistic type. I asked EJ once before his dx if anything was bothering him(he was in the middle of his worst flare). I asked him this because I remember when I was a child, in the 70's, I worried constantly about the state of the world, nuclear annihilation that sort of thing. It was such a constant theme in the media then. EJ has always been the thoughtful type as well so I can definitely believe that stress could be a factor at such a young age.
Mark, father of EJ

EJ dx w/ Crohn's 12/09
PSC 3/10

No more 6mp
Currently in the Humira Club
06-23-2010, 03:15 PM   #23
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I thought at first it was when I started taking birth control pills, but I realized I may have had symptoms several years earlier than that during my sophomore year in college, right after I went through a terrible break-up. I then went through another terrible "break-up" with my college best friend the year after. Then I had stress graduating and not being able to find a job and getting married and moving to another state!
February 2010 - diagnosed with Crohn's disease.
January 2011 - Inflammation downgraded from moderate-severe to mild with no symptoms!
January 2014 - adopted a mostly Paleo diet
May 2015 - still in remission!

Currently Taking
Humira - 40mg/week
Imuran - 125 mg/day
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06-23-2010, 03:19 PM   #24
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I wonder about that Crabby as you are the artistic type. I asked EJ once before his dx if anything was bothering him(he was in the middle of his worst flare). I asked him this because I remember when I was a child, in the 70's, I worried constantly about the state of the world, nuclear annihilation that sort of thing. It was such a constant theme in the media then. EJ has always been the thoughtful type as well so I can definitely believe that stress could be a factor at such a young age.
Its possible but two kids in the same year? I kind of doubt it. We dealt with stress all our lives anyway since our parents were physically abusive. I guess its possible it was a combination of everything. There were 4 of us and 2 got crohns. That spells genetics to me for one but the same year and right after we both were very sick from some sort of virus would make that more likely than stress in my opinion.
06-23-2010, 03:25 PM   #25
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I don't know with Roo. I can't dismiss the hereditary factor even though it is somewhat distant, just too much of a coincidence as far as I'm concerned. Stress? Doesn't really suit her extroverted, happy go lucky personality. So who knows.(((shrug)))

I agree with Dexky about age and stress. When I started out working I worked in a paediatric head injury unit and I guess being quite close in age to some of the patients I used to get a bit miffed at the attitude of some of the parents. Some of the the kids were worried about their physical appearance (talking small facial scars) and others about the usual child/teenage stuff. Many of the parents however would be dismissive or become angry about their children being worried about these things saying "what have they got to worry about, they don't have to pay the bills etc". My view always was and still is, just because you are a 12, or whatever age, doesn't make your fears or worries any less valid.

I think as we get older these earlier fears and worries are naturally replaced by the current stresses in our lives and on it goes to the point that we tend look back and, at times, laugh at what we could possibly have been worried about and all the while forgetting just how it really affected us at the time.
Mum of 2 kids with Crohn's.
06-23-2010, 03:46 PM   #26
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There's no doubt that children worry and deal with stress all the time just like we do but in my particular situation, there weren't any major factors that would cause such stress. I didn't start stressing about appearance and what people thought until I was diagnosed with crohns. If anything, crohns triggered my stress. :P My sister was very similar.
If it was stress at all, then it was from physical abuse/fear of my parents.
06-23-2010, 04:11 PM   #27
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As far back as we have looked in my family's history we haven't seen any one with even a possibilty of digestive problems.So for me not genetics thus far.Maybe environmental?I know I ended up in the hospital for food poisoning and thats when I had bloody stool.They think though it may have started when I was 8 because I ended up in the hospital with choking problems which they discovered a cobweb structure in my chest and then I had constant heartburn and cramping.Also my digestive system was discovered to be getting slowly eaten away by my body.They said something about the good bacteria was fighting against its self in my body because it didn't know what was good and bad anymore.I lost a lot of weight too when I was 9-10 and we told it was because I was an active child and then found out it was my fat deposits were what had been eaten away.I was told at one point it was because I didn't eat enough but my mom said that wasn't the case I ate all the time.
Living Life as it Comes
Diagnosis-Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis since 1997 at age 12
Medication-Humira every 2weeks 40mg and Imuran 100mg,B-12 drops and Multi-Vitamin
06-23-2010, 04:24 PM   #28
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Mine was a combo of stress, ibuprofen, and Europe...

I was always under a lot of stress as a teen and was taking ibuprofen regularly for body aches and an inflamed false rib.

When I was 17, I had the privilege of spending about 5 weeks in Europe (2 weeks all over Poland, and 3 weeks taking a German study-abroad session in Salzburg, Austria.) This included walking on foot EVERYWHERE (my classroom was a lovely 45-minute walk from my host-home) and with little money, a consistent diet of sausages from cart vendors, french fries with mayonnaise, and FRESH dairy, milk, yogurt, cheese (something unfamiliar to my Yank body). Everyday. for 3 weeks. I lost about 75 pounds and was a great hot mess. Turns out I read an article that a bacteria/protein in milk can trigger Crohns. (The beer probably didn't help either.. )
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06-23-2010, 06:04 PM   #29
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Mine was definately stress, stress and more stress. I have two daughters a year apart that hit their teen years at the same time and custody battles with their dad. Shew I didn't think I would survive it! I also took lots and lots of Ibuprofin. As for the hereditary thing I don't know if I believe it. There are too many people that have this that have absolute no family history. Although my family does have a long history of colon, gran and great gran. But my crohns is in my small bowel. So I don't think it is hereditary.
Dusty Shook

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06-23-2010, 10:46 PM   #30
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AMAZING!! Almost, if not everyone said stress, and many said I-buprofin...and some said other illnesses! In not surprised, sitting here taking an inventory of my life before and during flarres....stress is the main culprit!! I have a genetic predispostion along with environmental factors. I had an incredibly hard childhood and I always held it some point in life that manifested stress is going to started for me when I was about 15 with bathroom issues...and then 18 had a severe attack and had appendix out, and so here I am 15 years later and just finally getting it all figured out! Crazy~ Great topic, very interesting!!
Diagnosed Crohns Disease March 2010, suffering for 15 years

B-12 injections 2xmonth
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