How do you know that you’ve got crohn’s disease and that your runny tummy isn’t just from that dodgy kebab you had a few days ago? Stay put because I will tell you all about the warning signs that you may have inflammatory bowel disease.
Symptoms of crohn’s disease is also the same for ulcerative colitis which is the other type of inflammatory bowel disease and even though people with ibd will experience the same symptoms they wont experience them in the same order or severity which can make getting a diagnosis a bit tricky.
So what are the signs and symptoms of crohn’s disease?
1 – Pain. This is such a non-specific symptom as pretty much anything can cause stomach pain and not just ibd. But if you experience stomach pain a little too often which is relieved after you go to the loo then it could be a sign.
2 – Diarrhea. This is going to the loo more often than you are used to. Before my crohn days I used to go twice a day but as I started experiencing symptoms this went up to 10 maybe more times a day. Sometimes abdominal pain can be accompanied with the diarrhea.
3 – Bloody stools. If you see blood in your stools after a bowel motion do not ignore it. It could be a sign of crohn’s disease or something more serious. You may find the blood is accompanied with pus or mucus.
4 – Loss of appetite and weight loss. These two are usually linked because if you don’t feel like eating, then you don’t eat and that usually results in weight loss. What you may find with weight loss as well is that it may not be because of loss of appetite. In my case I associated food with pain because I would end up in pain a few hours after eating something and so the only way to not be in pain was not to eat, which wasn’t a good idea because the weight loss was drastic.
5 – Anemia is also a sign of crohn’s disease which is also linked to points number 3 and 4. If you are bleeding a lot after each bowel motion in combination with not eating properly and getting enough nutrients then the iron stores in your body become depleted and you will develop iron deficiency anemia which is common in crohn’s disease.
6 – Fatigue. Ok so fatigue is really difficult to explain but it is not the same as tiredness and doesn’t go away after a good night sleep. Every point I have previously mentioned can contribute to fatigue and tiredness. If you are in constant pain then this interrupts your sleep, as does going to the loo multiple times at night, as does losing a lot of blood and not eating properly.
To finish off it is important to say that if you are feeling unwell or are having unusual symptoms then speak to your doctor and don’t ignore them hoping that they will go away.