Crohn's Disease Forum » General IBD Discussion » Heart attack due to IBD...

11-25-2009, 10:06 AM   #1
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Heart attack due to IBD...

Hi all,

I have just gotten home after 3 days in hospital.

I have posted a little bit of my history in another thread, but I will quickly update what I have been through this week.

A week ago I was feeling very weak, was having a lot of bleeding and feeling a swaying sensation, like I was about to faint.

I had a few tests done at that time. A blood test, stool sample and a ECG for my heart.

4 days ago, I was given a call from the doctor with all my test results. The doctor told me some scary news.

- There was blood in the stool, but they could not tell if there were any cancer cells etc in it. There was no foreign bacteria.

- Blood test showed ESR at 36 and CRP at 47.

MY HEART TEST SHOWED SYMPTOMS OF A HEART ATTACK! My heart was showing signs of ischemia, which means lack of oxygen to the heart. I also had low blood pressure 87/78.

So I was told to go to the hospital immediately.

I went to the hospital and had a number of tests - treated at category 1, probable heart attack.

I was so frightened and I had the tests showed that I was NOT having a heart attack but my heart was indeed beating irregularly.

The cardiologist told me that the pattern of my heart beat was similar to people who had sustatined a serious injury, infection or a virus and not due to blocked arteries.

I then had more blood tests, one every 6 hours, each test showed gradual rising inflamation in my body.

After 3 days in hospital, my heart beat went back to normal, but my CRP rose to 90+ and my ESR was at 44. My blood sugar at 8.8 and cholesterol at 5.4 (both slightly elevated but nothing serious.)

3 doctors and a cardiologist discussed my tests and even got a stool sample from me (confirming I have blood loss, but not anemic).

One of the doctors told me he has seen similar cases where people's hearts began to beat strangely after serious viral infections and even sometimes from the flu.

He had come to the conclusion that my heart is struggling because I have a serious case if IBD but it is not an infection because I never had a high temperature.

I now will have to get an angiogram (check my arteries + my heart valves) just to be 100% I do not have a pending heart attack.

I also have to go to get my colonoscopy on the 11th.

I cant believe how sick I have been lately - and after 3-4 days in hospital all I know is that I did not suffer a heart attack, but my heart is suffering due so "inflamation" which may be directly causing issues with my heart.

Anyone had any issues with their heart related to crohns or ulcerative coloitis?

In addition to the heart problems, I still have extreemly bad pain in my hip and appendix area when I sleep and I told the guys at the hospital so many times and they never did any scans or ultrasounds.

I have even been having sore eyes, sensitive to lights, and they were asking me why I was putting a towell over my eyes all day long ...I was like "uhmm that big neon light? well that hurts my eyes..."
11-25-2009, 10:29 AM   #2
D Bergy
Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2007
The only bacterial infection that i am aware of that can cause Heart problems is Lyme Disease, but I am sure there are others that I am not aware of. You must have real bad inflammation to bring something like that on.

That is a scary situation, and I certainly hope they can get some answers for you.

Keep us informed of your progress and good luck.

11-25-2009, 11:49 AM   #3
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Join Date: Nov 2006
I believe there are other autoimmunes that can cause Crohn's-like symptoms but also entail the inflammation around the heart and in the chest cavity. Behcets Disease is one of them.
11-25-2009, 03:42 PM   #4
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Join Date: Aug 2009
Oooh, sounds like a rough time! That inflammation needs to be dealt with - have they given you anything for it?
Hope you feel better very soon
Farting is FUN
11-25-2009, 05:47 PM   #5
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Join Date: Nov 2009
They did not give me anything for the inflammation mainly because they said they do not know where it is coming from and want me to wait for the colonoscopy first as it is best that I am in this acute stage when checked, than fixing the problem and it going undetected.

They said that heart rythm problem is not life threatening, it is a minor change only noticed on ecg's and not usually felt by the patient, although when it is accompanied by chest pains, fainting etc it can be due to a heart attack.

Thankfully they checked my blood to see if I had a special enzyme that usually is produced when there is a blockage in the heart (like too much build up of fatty plaque or calciums). They said my reading was at 0 indicating that I most likely have minimal build up of fats in the arteries (they said EVERYONE has buildups over 30+ regardless of weight!)

I am a big guy but I am not big because I over-eat.

I just am a bit lazy, I dont exercise much and I eat a lot of take away foods, but thankfully I eat THE WRONG foods and not A LOT of food. So my cholesterol is always normal to slightly elevated.

Hopefully I do not have any blockages in the heart, but if I do, and it really is a pending heart attack, then I need to be happy that I will be catching it sooner than later.

With regards to the swaying feelings, I still am getting it, and I am also going bloody stools/diahorrea.

It just seems a little too odd that all these symptoms are unrelated.

I must have a lot of inflammation inside my body and hopefully they can tell me what is happening.

As stated the doctor did see cases in the past of people with IBD that were getting heart problems because of the constant inflammation. He said the enzymes that are released by the liver can harm the heart and the liver itself.

That is why I am very curious to know anyone who has read about or has experienced heart related issues with crohns.

Last edited by Ezequiel; 11-25-2009 at 05:50 PM.
11-25-2009, 06:31 PM   #6
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Pirate's Avatar
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Freeland, Michigan
Did they check your hemoglobin counts. Normally for a man it is 12 or more. with the bleeding it could be low and your body can't produce blood quick enough to help you catch up. It will cause you to feel light headed. It will also make your heart work harder.
I have had it down to 7 and That caused dizzyness, fatigue and just plan not good. At that point my heart was beating irregular and they put me in coronary unit. This was just a week after I had a heart attack. Bleeding due to bad medicine decision by GI and Cardioligist. They put me on Plavix.
Another time I was ready to go home from the hospital and the night before I went into the bathroom and had a BM that filled the toilet full of blood. My heart was beating so fast and hard that my wife could hear it. I had to get 4 units of blood forced into me and it was still semi froze.
My hemoglobin dropped to 8 and it took a couple of days to get it back up to 10.5 before they would let me go home again.
I'm the Captain of my own pirate ship. You'll find me on the POOP deck!

Greg Yancer
Diagnosed w/ CD Febuary 1986
No surgeries
Current meds:REMICADE (CATS SCARE ME), Pentasa, Nexium, Probonics.
11-25-2009, 11:30 PM   #7
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Join Date: Nov 2009
Yeh my blood count is always fine. They ruled out anemia.

I don't always get bloody stools, usually about once a week. I don't really know what to think anymore.

One doctor said my rapid heart beat is normal for someone my size/lack of fitness.

I average about 100-115 beats per minute, if I get up and walk around usually around 130 or so. I have tachycardia but as stated, due to the fact im a big guy. (139 kilos)

However I am only 30 years old.

I am on the verge of just giving up and just accepting that I might just not know whats going on.
11-26-2009, 12:06 AM   #8
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Join Date: Nov 2009
I spoke to the doctor today and she told me I might have inflamation in my spine which can be caused by crohns called Ankylosing Spondylitis...

She said I also may have inflamed arteries called Aortis which isnt life threatening, but it can cause an irregular heart beat and look like ischemia on the ecg, like I showed.

She thinks that Ankylosing Spondylitis is common with people with crohns, and Aortis is something that occurs in a small percentage of people with AS.

So I decided to look it up...

This is what she thinks I might have... (check out the amazing stuff related to me in the bold)

Ankylosing Spondylitis...

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS, from Greek ankylos, bent; spondylos, vertebrae), previously known as Bechterew's disease, Bechterew syndrome, and Marie Strümpell disease, a form of Spondyloarthritis, is a chronic, inflammatory arthritis and autoimmune disease. It mainly affects joints in the spine and the sacroilium in the pelvis, causing eventual fusion of the spine.

It is a member of the group of the spondyloarthropathies with a strong genetic predisposition. Complete fusion results in a complete rigidity of the spine, a condition known as bamboo spine.

The typical patient is a young male, aged 18–30, when symptoms of the disease first appear, with chronic pain and stiffness in the lower part of the spine or sometimes the entire spine, often with pain referred to one or other buttock or the back of thigh from the sacroiliac joint.

AS is one of a cluster of conditions known as seronegative spondyloarthropathies, in which the characteristic pathological lesion is an inflammation of the enthesis (the insertion of tensile connective tissue into bone).

Other forms of spondyloarthropathy are associated with ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, psoriasis, and Reiter's syndrome (reactive arthritis).

Men are affected more than women by a ratio about of 3:1,[2] with the disease usually taking a more painful course in men than women.[3] In 40% of cases, ankylosing spondylitis is associated with an inflammation of the eye (iridocyclitis and uveitis), causing redness, eye pain, vision loss, floaters and photophobia. Another common symptom is generalised fatigue and sometimes nausea. Less commonly aortitis, apical lung fibrosis and ectasia of the sacral nerve root sheaths may occur. As with all the seronegative spondyloarthropathies, lifting of the nails (onycholysis) or whitening of the nails may occur. (I was born with white fingernailes, no pigmentation)

During acute inflammatory periods, AS patients will sometimes show an increase in the blood concentration of C-reactive protein (CRP) and an increase in the erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), but there are many with AS whos CRP and ESR rates do not increase so normal CRP and ESR results do not always correspond with the amount of inflammation a person actually has. Sometimes people with AS have normal level results, yet are experiencing a significant amount of inflammation in their bodies.



This inflammation has a number of possible causes, to include: trauma, viral infection, certain immune disorders, and bacterial infection.

If untreated, has three distinct phases. A prepulseless inflammatory stat. Phase two includes vascular inflammation with pain secondary to the condition, along with tenderness to palpation over the site. Last phase includes symptoms of ischemia and pain associated with the use of limbs. Limbs are also cool and clammy in this stage.


Things make a lot more sense, when you see how things are related.

This is why I have been getting problems with my eyes, joint pain when I rest (god thats terrible pain!) and high levels of inflamation in my blood.

Especially the notes about Ischemia! Which is why I was in hospital....

Makes a lot of sense, how even before my heart things, I was havin problems bending down and pain when I sleep more than 4-5 hours.

(She told me that I first need to be diagnosed with IBD before she can begin to find out more through specialists. At the moment she insisted it is just her educated guess).
05-20-2013, 06:08 PM   #9
Cozmo's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Llanidloes, United Kingdom

My Support Groups:
My partner is in hospital at the moment. He has Crohns disease, but currently diagnosed with Aortitis, which has been caused by a bacterial infection due to Crohns disease. A very worrying time. Partner having high levels of antibiotics as well as Crohns medication.
Diagnosed Crohns Nov 15th 2012
Prednisolone 30mg a day (6x 5mg)
Pentasa/Mesalazine 2 x 500mg 4 x a day
Azathpioprine 2 x 50mg a day(stopped after bad reaction)
Alendronic Acid 1 x weekly
Calceos 2 x a day
Diagnosed Gastronitis 2004
Lansaprazole 15mg a day
Diagnosed Aneamic 2011
B12 Injection every 3 months
Iron Tablets 3 x a day
Vitamin C Disolvable Effervessent 1000-2000mg a day
Diagnosed Aortitis May 23rd 2013
Ertapenam IV Antibiotic
10-30-2014, 05:51 PM   #10
I am 43 year old and was also diagnosed with ischemic heart disease after an attack of unstable angina last year. I have Crohn's since 1994 . Doctors said this is a form of premature atherosclerosis due to chronic inflammation of the vessels.

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