My dad was diagnosed with crohns disease at the age of 24 and my brother was diagnosed three years ago at the age of 14. He was very seriously ill with crohns for many many months so the thought of me possibly having the disease too is not easy to deal with.
i have been having symptoms for a while now, but have tried to ignore them and hope they go away, but unfortunately i think its time to get some help. I have a constant tenderness in the right side of my abdomen which i know is the common side for crohns sufferers. I have also had blood in my stools and more recently copious amounts of mucus in my stools. I am constipated all the time, most weeks only managing to open my bowels once or twice a week, and I feel bloated. Are these symtoms of crohns or could i have IBS or maybe a food intolerance?
I have been to the doctors and have had blood tests but they all came back fine so things were left as they were. I cant stop thinking that I have crohns but I dont know whether Im just being paranoid.
You said you had blood tests run. Did they also test for Crohns and Celiac? There's a blood test for both of those that can be checked.
I'd start there. If they come back normal ask to do a Cat Scan or Upper GI with lower bowel follow through to see if there's any blockage. Also, it would be a good idea to get a Colonoscopy to see if there's any polyps.
Crohns Disease is not a death sentence. There's a lot they can do to help the symptoms. There's medication that can help, also changing your diet can help.
Until you can get in to see a Gastroenterologist, I'll tell you what mine told me. Try and eat 6 small meals a day instead of 3. Stay away from wheat and gluten (until they say it's ok. Try it and see if it helps with symptoms), stay away from sugar and fatty foods, try to not eat gas producing foods such as beans, stay away from milk products (again, just try it to see if it helps with symptoms. You may not be lactose intolerent, but a lot of people with Crohns are.) Drink lot's of fluids to stay hydrated. Try these things and see if you notice a decrease in symptoms. Keep a food diary and see if there's certain foods you react to more than others. This will help your doctor too.
Most importantly, see your doctor and get a proper diagnosis. It's better to stay on top of things than not. Ignoring the symptoms won't make them go away and it could get worse. Best wishes.
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