Saturday, March 14, 2015

Crohn's and IBS - A Duel at Sundown.

While laying in bed not sleeping at 3:30am, I decided maybe I should blog about my multiple intestinal diagnoses.  It might be a thing other people need to know about.

Currently, I have active Crohn's disease in my colon.  I used to have it in my small intestine and colon intersection but now it's moved lower into the colon.  Crohn's is bad.  Hence the blog.  But I also have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS).  Kinda the same but totally not.  Treatment for these two conditions are the total opposite from each other.  One you avoid fiber and anything with a consistency more than applesauce, the other you need fiber to make you feel better and for your guts to work right.  But it will kill you if you take fiber and eat fiber and try the whole fiber thing if you have Crohn's.  So you can see having both is a total win win scenario.  Ok not really.

How do I know what's causing the problem?  Easy, I don't.  Never know.  Hard to tell.  Although when the Crohn's is in remission and you are having gut problems it's probably the IBS.  But it could be the Crohn's flaring so it's best to get nine million invasive tests that may or may not show anything, but do allow you to drink things off the periodical table of elements.  Seriously.  It's a crap shoot basically. (HA! Crap!)

The two different illnesses cause mostly the same symptoms for me.  Crohn's brings a lot of pain and diarrhea.  IBS brings a different kind of pain and diarrhea - constipated diarrhea.  You know, the kind where you have to go but you can't really make anything come out but your butthole is on fire and you know you are going to explode any minute but you're afraid to because you know it's going to burn like fire because your butthole is already burning from the molten lava that won't come out.  Yea, that's constipated diarrhea.  Much different from regular diarrhea where you just spew forth like an erupting volcano that has no shut off valve and can come any time, even if you're not ready.  Like when you are sound asleep.  Yea, that's fun.

The pain is different also.  Crohn's pain for me is a deep stabbing, achy pain that lasts and lasts.  It feels like your insides are burning and I'm lucky because my Crohn's pain radiates from my stomach all the way through my back.  My IBS pain is somewhat bloaty and crampy pain.  Muscle spasms that hit you out of nowhere.  However, I could be totally off base and have them mixed up.  Who knows.

As you can see, trying to manage both problems is a problem.  It's hard, and I know a lot of people who have Inflammatory Bowel Disease also suffer from Irritable Bowel Syndrome.  It doesn't seem fair we get hit with a double whammy.

More exciting topics to come.  I thought of a million since I couldn't sleep.  Here's hoping I remember them all! 


Ponygecko said...

Such a blessing to read your blog. I was diagnosed in 2009 and managed it okay until recently, when I've been going through what I call rolling flares. I was prescribed entocort as well for the flare ups and am on Axathioprine (Imuran) ongoing. All is not well, however. Kaiser, my insurance carrier, has a very blase attitude with Crohn's. I'm looking for a new GI but can't afford to move to non-HMO insurance coverage because of the huge deductible. But it's very heartwarming to hear your story. Your blog is amazing. Katie

Amanda S said...

I just found your blog. I was diagnosed with Crohns in 2012 and then IBS in 2013. It is so true what you say about dealing with the two same-but kind of opposite illnesses. I have been off work for months again and at the point where I may need to switch meds, which is always nerve-wracking. I look forward to reading more of your blog :)

Kevin Black said...

Hey Jenni, My Name is Kevin Black. couldnt find an email address for ya so thought this would be the only way to contact you, dont need this comment approved just wanted to get in touch, I made a new restroom access card for the group I Admin and was sending them out for free to the various people helping progress the IBD community like yourself! you can see the cards at and you can shoot me an email if you want one and just let me know where to send it as a thanks for what you do for IBD!

Unknown said...

Hey Jenni....found u today....Congrats on beat blog....looking forward to reading and partaking where I can....Diagnosed with IBD and Crohns at 15 and I'm 42 I wish we had blogs available when I was a teenager

Unknown said...

Hey Jenni....found u today....Congrats on beat blog....looking forward to reading and partaking where I can....Diagnosed with IBD and Crohns at 15 and I'm 42 I wish we had blogs available when I was a teenager

ZhongBa Hospital said...

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