• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

What's up my fellow Crohnies?

Hi everyone, I am a 3rd year university student from Virginia, at school in Ohio. I was diagnosed with Crohn's about a month ago following a colonoscopy.

*Note: This is pretty long - Short version, had moderate intestinal issues for past 4 years. 4 months ago was hospitalized with cramps and nausea, found swollen area of intestine. Hospitalized again 1 month ago, same thing. Colonscopy a few weeks ago, diagnosed with Crohn's. Starting Remicade tomorrow and Azathioprine as soon as lab results come in.

If you'd like to read all the details feel free, but I just wanted to write it all down somewhere so I can look at it if I need to in a few years.

Long version - I can remember having constipation issues in my high school years, sometimes even blood, but symptoms would come and go and eventually I didn't think much of it. My freshman year here I had lots of gas issues, I would get extremely bloated and literally would push on my stomach in the bathroom to get the air out. I don't have weight loss, I've actually gained about 10 pounds since high school ended. I've also been very fatigued since probably 10th grade in high school and have symptoms of insomnia on and off. In the last few years of high school I would come home and sleep from 3 pm to 11 pm and then stay up and be exhausted at school. I still sleep whenever I have free time and on the weekends it can be up to 13 hours. Anyways, in October of 2010 I was under a great deal of stress with school (was very behind with homework) and I think I ate a bad chicken wrap that just didn't taste right. About 10 hours later I was doubled over in pain, severe cramping and nausea. I threw up a few times and finally decided it was time for the ER because the pain was too intense. When I arrived I was very dehydrated and exhausted. They did a CT scan and other tests and found that I had swelling in my small intestine I think it was at the time. They admitted me to the hospital and I stayed for the next 3 days and was given antibiotics. Some of the doctors thought I had Crohn's, but a local GI from another clinic happened to be there and looked at my chart and told me he didn't think I had it because no one in my family does and I didn't have significant history of bowel issues. (I may have not been forthcoming with all my issues in the past, I guess b/c at the time I had them I thought they were just normal and it was a bit difficult to remember being on pain meds and being so tired) The GI just thought it was a bacterial infection, which was pretty funny because all the docs and nurses had to wear masks and covers because they thought I might have an infection that causes explosive diarrhea, but the joke was on them because the problem was I couldn't poop! So I take the antibiotics they give me for a few weeks after and feel ok, just very exhausted and stressed from an AWFUL quarter of school. During finals week I slept for only 3 hours over 3 days and then drove home 6 hours in the dark, very bad idea. The next morning my family was leaving on a car trip to Texas so I spent the next 16 hours in the car. By the time we arrived at our destination at 5 am I was having the familiar cramps from October, but luckily I layed down and was so tired I fell asleep and was fine when I woke up. So I feel okay most of December, I don't remember having symptoms like what I have now, but then leading up to having to return to school at the beginning of January I started stressing out because I was very behind with some online classes and other work. Literally the night before I was supposed to leave I hadn't packed anything, that day I had been feeling uncomfortable and bloaty and just plain sick. Earlier, I had cooked some pasta with this chicken sausage that was about 3 weeks old. (I've learned my lesson now!) I had only like 3 slices, but immediately after I was feeling uncomfortable, I thought about throwing it up because of what happened in October, but I figured it was so little it couldn't hurt. So I go to a friend's party when I still haven't packed even though I'm supposed to leave at 5 am, only have water, feel worse and worse, go home and the cramps get worse. Finally my mom takes me to the ER after I threw up and was in extreme pain. I threw up a second time in the ER room and after that with the meds I felt much better. I was hoping I could leave but they did a CT scan revealed major swelling like a blockage and was admitted to the hospital. I stayed for two days and was given antibiotics. The doctor's there said I probably had Crohn's but I had to get to school because classes had started and scheduled an appointment with the GI doc that saw me in the hospital in October. I met with him and he looked at my chart from Virginia and scheduled a colonoscopy and took bloodwork. Mid January I had an upper GI thing, the one where you swallow this white glue/paste stuff and they tell you not to throw up long enough for them to get some xrays. If you've never done it, avoid at all costs, that stuff was vile. Colonoscopy went well, the prep was awful but I guess that's to be expected. But after the colonscopy he came out and said that I did have Crohn's in my terminal ileum where it meets the cecum I think but they couldn't get past that because it was so swollen. He couldn't tell if it was scar tissue or just swelling. So he said since I only have 6 months left in Ohio and I guess the area is pretty bad I'm going to have Remicade infusions for a while and also go on Azathioprine indefinantly. Before I leave in June he wants to do another colonoscopy to make sure the area of swelling has gone down. If not, like he's afraid it's scar tissue, I'll have to have surgery to remove that area and resect the pieces together. Sooo, I've schedule my first Remicade infusion for tomorrow morning and couldn't be more excited. Since my trip to the hospital at the beginning of January my everyday symptoms have gotten worse, lots of constipation and gas, and nausea if everything is kind of stopped up for too long. I've been buying mostly organic foods and am in the process of trying to start the SCD Diet. My school's dining halls said their chef is familiar with the diet as someone has done it before and his wife also has Crohn's so that should be helpful. Overall, my symptoms haven't been too disruptive. I would say over the years the worst thing was fatigue, and I'm not even sure Crohn's is what was causing it.

My question is does anyone have symptoms of depression or difficulty focusing. I feel like I have brain fog a lot and just can't seem to motivate myself. I've been falling behind in school slowly but surely over the last year, but have managed to be on schedule to graduate this June, but I've been getting so behind in classes and I am not motivated to catch up at all. I'm going to fail one class and I'm not sure if I'll be able to take it in the spring. (I'm on 3 quarters/ year) I feel like the stress of not doing my schoolwork may have cause my issues with my intestines, or maybe it's the other way around. I used to be an excellent student, straight A's up through 10th grade. But slowly in my junior year I just wouldn't do work, or do stuff last minute. Now that I'm at the end of college I do even less, it's ridiculous but I can't seem to snap out of it. I've slowly lost connections with friends and don't hang out with people here at school, however at home I have some close girlfriends. I've never been diagnosed with anxiety or depression, but I've never told a physician about these issues. I'm not sure why, I guess I feel there's a stigma with it, maybe more so in my family.

Well, thanks if you read all of this, sorry for the novel, but maybe it can help someone else out there with the same symptoms.

Crohn's 35

Inactive Account
:bigwave:Welcome LTH!! This is a good place to be to get help and answers, also keep in mind we are all different and react to different meds, trial and error is the name of this game and it isnt fun. Alot of people take long times for a diagnosis and finding the right med for your severity is tricky. There is a Remicade thread on the forum which will help you get some insight. Most people do well on it, and hopefully this will be your turning point.

Depression can come and go in this disease, and having support here or family support is so crucial because alot of times most don't understand and dealing with this disease is what we ALL have to do. Being in University is a very stressful time and stress doesn't cause the flares but it can aggrivate the gut and rest is needed.

Lots of young people here to help you along. Hope you get relief soon!
Hi, feeling down about things is perfectly normal, when you've recently learned you have a chronic illness. As for brain fog, I get this sometimes, along with fatigue. One possible reason is anaemia or b12 deficiency (this is common in patients with ileal Crohn's). Have you had haemoglobin, iron, b12 and folate checked recently? Also keep your fluid levels up, and eating something salty often helps me when I'm really tired and achy.

You might want to check our wiki, it has lots of informative articles including our frequently asked questions www.crohnsforum.com/wiki/ibd-faq and fatigue www.crohnsforum.com/wiki/fatigue

Any other questions, feel free to ask!


Hi Lemon
and welcome

I read it all, and you've been thro a lot!
Are your tutors aware? You need to keep them informed, extentions are available.
Good luck with the Remi, check out the Remi Club, lots of success stories in there.
Joan xxx
Hi, Lemon Tree House! Yes, depression or a general feeling of brain fog is quite common. I experience it from time to time also. Getting through classes can be a bit difficult, I know. All you can do is your best.
Welcome and good luck,