Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Crohns, ankylosing spondylitis and related conditions

04-06-2016, 08:13 PM   #1
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Location: Hollywood, California
Crohns, ankylosing spondylitis and related conditions

I've been diagnosed with Crohns for 3 years, but I had intestinal cramping since my teens. 2 years ago I had a fall hitting my head,neck and back. Since then I've suffered with numbness in my arms, legs. Headaches and light-sensitivity, horrible back and eyeball pain. I'm losing strength in my hands and walk with a cane and have sciatica in both legs. It was assumed that I had nerve damage due to the fall. My rheumatologist said because I have Crohns disease he thinks it's Ankylosing Spondylitis. I've been researching and it could possibly be it. Does anyone else have similar symptoms? I know that Crohns can cause many things to happen to the body, and it's also interrelated with other conditions. But can Crohns cause nerve damage?
04-06-2016, 08:49 PM   #2
my little penguin
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Tagging maya142
They should be able to tell if it's AS with X-rays
DS - -Crohn's -Stelara -mtx
04-06-2016, 10:28 PM   #3
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My husband and both my daughters have AS. My younger daughter also has IBD.

CCFA has a good explanation on the various types of arthritis related to IBD:

If you do have AS, it is easy to tell with x-rays. Your rheumatologist will do a pelvic x-ray to look at your SI joints. You need radiographic sacroiilitis to be diagnosed with AS.

However, you can also have arthritis and not have damage on x-ray. This is because it can take 8-10 years to develop sacroiilitis on x-rays. The earlier stage of the disease is called Spondyloarthritis. Some people with spondyloarthritis go on to develop AS and others don't. has a lot of good info about AS, the criteria for diagnosis and also about Spondyloarthritis.

If you have eye pain, it is important to see an ophthalmologist quickly to rule out uveitis. Uveitis is inflammation in the eyes and over time can be very serious and can cause vision loss. It has to be treated promptly. Typically, pain, redness and light sensitivity are the symptoms.

The numbness and loss of strength sounds like a nerve issue more so than AS. AS can cause nerve damage though usually in its later stages. Have you been checked out for a back injury after your fall?

Good luck!
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
04-07-2016, 06:33 AM   #4
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Nerve damage can be caused by dietary issues - I believe it is a prolonged B12 shortage can cause that and I believe that it can become permanent.

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