Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Crohn's Remission and Exercise

08-18-2012, 02:52 AM   #1
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Join Date: Feb 2012
Crohn's Remission and Exercise

Hi All,
I believe I am in remission, but I am not sure. So I have a couple of questions.

1) I currently have some, very minor bleeding, minor pain that does not last long, and mild discomfort. I am not taking any medicines currently. Could this be described as remission? My definition doesn't really match up with how I am feeling and I'm trying to figure out what is "normal" for Crohn's remission.

2) I am an athlete and I like to be fit and exercise. I notice that sometimes after a core or abdomen workout, I have problems. However, this isn't every time and I have just been diagnosed with Crohn's, so I am still figuring out which foods are alright for me to eat. So, I don't know if it is the food I have eaten or the exercise. Does anyone have a similar experience?

3) How has Crohn's effected personal relationships with your spouse or child? I have a 17 month old daughter and a wife. My wife tries to be as supportive as possible, but really has a tough time understanding Crohn's.

08-24-2012, 02:49 AM   #2
Jennifer's Avatar
Do you know where/what the bleeding is coming from? Do you see a specialist that runs regular tests for you? Usually bleeding is not a sign of remission (unless its from like a hemorrhoid). Also depends on what's causing the pain (like is it just gas or is there inflammation?). "Normal" remission would be inflammation that's minimal (we're talking a CRP that's close to a normal CRP which is 0-4) to none, minor to no symptoms (where you basically have normal reactions to foods as if you didn't have IBD, like gas pain/discomfort is normal but should be gone once the gas is gone) and you should be having normal/regular bowel movements (unless you suffer from something like short bowel syndrome etc). So far what you've mentioned doesn't sound like remission.

Pain in the abdomen during and after exercise that involves the abdominal muscles is very common when you're in a flare. I've seen it mentioned numerous times on this site and have had that issue myself in the past.

My fiance was aware of my Crohn's before we started dating and he never had any problems with it and was always willing to listen and learn. He's very supportive. However since I'm in remission I have very few issues that would affect the relationship. He hasn't seen me in a full blown flare before but I imagine he'd be just as supportive and helpful.

You'll always run into people who don't understand or try to. You can give them the information and insight but the rest is up to them. What is it you think your wife doesn't fully understand?
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.
08-24-2012, 10:33 AM   #3
Amanda D
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Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Colorado

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I too am interested in what "remission" typically means and about excercise (I was just diagnosed this summer and am new to this; but realize everyone's experience is different). Thanks for any help!
08-24-2012, 11:52 AM   #4
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Cat-a-Tonic's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: Madison, Wisconsin

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I'm in remission. I do bleed rarely but it's almost always due to things like hemmies or fissures, as Crabby said. The only time that I've bled in remission and it wasn't due to those things, was when I ate Greek yogurt and my body hated it (my body seems to rebel against all forms of probiotics and it doesn't like dairy either). So yes, in my experience it is possible to be in remission and bleed, but typically you do not bleed while in remission.

As for exercise, I lift weights 3x per week and I always try to do the abdominals machine in addition to working my arms, legs, etc. And about 99 times out of 100, I have no issues with that. I don't get any pain or symptoms after working out my core or abs like how you described. Jogging will sometimes cause my guts to be a bit painful, I think it's from all the jolting around, but they're fine as soon as I stop jogging. But other than that and some GERD issues, my stomach is fine when I work my abs/core.

With regards to foods though, I have to disagree with Crabby here. I still have to avoid many of my trigger foods even in remission. As previously mentioned, Greek yogurt kills me. So does coconut, dairy, red meat, and various other things. As long as I avoid my trigger foods, take my meds, exercise regularly, get enough sleep and avoid stress - then remission is very good to me and I feel 99% normal. It's when I slip up and eat the wrong thing or stay up too late or get too stressed that I run into some problems (still nowhere near as bad as a flare, so I know I am still in remission - my GI thinks I have IBS in addition to the IBD and that's what's causing these "breakthrough" issues, but I disagree and feel that having IBD has changed my body forever, and even when the illness is in remission, things still don't work the way that a normal person's digestive tract would). Anyway, I'm getting off-track here. Have you tried keeping a food diary? Write down everything you eat and how it affects you. Also, write down when you eat - for exercise, I've found that I can't eat anything for at least 2 hours before hitting the gym, or my GERD goes nuts. It doesn't matter what, I can't have anything in my stomach for awhile before working out except for water, and even that I can only do small amounts of or I'll reflux that back up too. So try keeping a food diary and see if that helps you pick out patterns.

And lastly, about your wife not really understanding - has she read the Spoon Theory? It might help her understand a little bit better. Here's the link:

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