06-01-2014, 01:08 PM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2013

Can someone explain in detail why crohns causes pain ?
06-01-2014, 04:33 PM   #2
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DustyKat's Avatar
Join Date: May 2010
Location: New South Wales, Australia
The GI tract has a complex nervous system (The Enteric) and is often referred to as the second brain. The Enteric nervous system is a mesh like system of neurones that govern the gastrointestinal system. The system is autonomic and so largely involuntary, like your breathing and your heart beat.

There are varying types of neurones and included in those are special sensory neurons called nociceptors. These neurons translate certain stimuli into action potentials that are then transmitted to more central parts of the nervous system, such as the brain. There are four kinds of nociceptors and the ones most likely involved in Crohnís are:

Chemical nociceptors: they respond to a variety of chemicals released with tissue damage.

Silent nociceptors: these nociceptors are normally quiet but become more sensitive to stimulation when they are surrounded by inflammation.

Because Crohnís causes significant damage to tissue it in turn causes several chemicals to be released into the area around the nociceptors. This develops into what is called the "inflammatory soup," an acidic mixture that stimulates and sensitizes the nociceptors into a state called hyperalgesia or super pain.

It then becomes a vicious cycle as the nociceptors themselves release substance P (an important element in pain perception) which causes mast cells to release histamine, which in turn stimulates the nociceptors.

Does that make sense?

Dusty. xxx
Mum of 2 kids with Crohn's.

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