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22 year old w/ joint pain & fatigue (Crohns)

So just a bit of background; my name is Jessica and I have Crohns, I work a full time fast food job, currently about 2 months post op and still in a flare. On top of trying to manage the disease itself and re navigate my diet once again, I've also been having a lot more joint pain and just feeling physically wrecked. And the level of how demanding my job is just varies day to day. So there are days when I can get by and others like today my legs were jsut about giving out completely, already limping a couple hours into my shift and just being too exhausted to deal with anything else once I'm home. And so when I go to my gastro doctor's office they have you fill out a sheet that basically tracks your symptoms. And I have checked the ones I've been feeling progressing and my GI kinda just doesn't talk about it or suggest any remedies or referrals. And when I ask questions she kinda just does the whole "oh well we'll check back with that in a couple months at your next app"

So I honestly just annoyed and looking for some support & suggestions from anybody else on the younger scale who has similar problems or patients of any age honestly that have dealt with these kind of symptoms. I'm just honesty already getting to the point where I ask that ever daunting question of "how the hell am I supposed to survive like this throughout the remainder of my life. And yes I know I'm incredibly young to be worrying about that and I know its rather grim outlook form someone so young but Its a reality for not only me but I'm sure a lot of us out there. So definitely any kind of suggestions/input would be tremendously appreciated.

Lady Organic

Staff member
Hi Jacinte,
joint pain is a common extra-intestinal manifestation of CD. Your GI should give you a referral to see a rheumatologist for further investigation and possible treatment. I know how bad it is to suffer from joint pain at a young age. For me it started with my wrists 5 years ago and now my ankles are involved. My wrists got better with time to almost a normal functionning. Little relapse lately, but already much better now. My joints and tendons are fragile. Im still having difficulties with my ankles at this time, but after trials of cortisone and anti-inflammatories that were barely of any help, I am doing physiotherapy, which finally helps, slowly. I truly hope to return to a normal status, walk long and return to my work in full health. Keep hope that your pain will be temporary. Thats what im saying to myself everyday. There are treatment possibilities out there.

Is your CD fully under control right now? what medication are you taking?
when did you start getting this pain? -do you recall anything new in your life at that moment?-like a new medication for instance, new job standing long hours?
Thank you for the positive words! I'm happy to hear your treatment is working :) And well I'm only a couple months post-op from my recent resection, and at the time I had been caught in a full blown flare, now I'm back to my normal work hours( average 45 hours) and it is a very physical fast paced job unfortunately so I do find my myself worn out from that and just been having a lot of stress lately. My symptoms are still going strong and getting a bit out of hand, but I am on Mercaptopurine and starting first dose of Humira in a couple days. SO I'm really hoping the Humira makes a difference. Its kinda like I'm really trying to wait it out and be good with my diet and hoping I'll fall back into remission soon but Its starting to get fairly frustrating.


Staff member
I would definitely try and see a rheumatologist. There are several kinds of arthritis associated with IBD, including spondyloarthritis (SpA). Like Crohn's, spondyloarthritis can cause damage if left untreated, so if you do have it, then you need to be treated for it and monitored carefully by a rheumatologist.

Luckily, Humira should treat both the Crohn's and the SpA, if you are found to have SpA.

Spondylitis.org has a lot of good info about SpA. CCFA also has a good explanation:

Common symptoms include morning stiffness, lower back/butt pain (which typically comes from the SI joints or lumbar spine), pain that gets better with movement and worse with rest and red/warm/swollen joints. Often knees, ankles, heels and hips are affected, though any joint can be affected.