Crohn\'s Disease

If you have fibromyalgia, you may also be suffering from another debilitating disease, called Crohn\'s disease. Crohn\'s disease causes terrible gastrointestinal symptoms, like diarrhea, cramping, and irritable bowel syndrome. If you are having severe problems with your gastrointestinal tract, it is a good idea to become familiar with the signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease. Speak with your health care provider to find out about appropriate treatments to help manage your symptoms.

What is Crohn\'s Disease?
Crohn\'s disease is one of a group of diseases called the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). It causes severe inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. Crohn\'s disease typically affects the small intestine, though it can attack anywhere throughout your digestive tract, from your anus to your mouth. Crohn’s disease causes painful and sometimes debilitating symptoms, and is also associated with a number of gastrointestinal complications.

Crohn’s disease currently affects more than 500,000 people in the United States. It affects both women and men equally. It is most likely to affect people in their teenage or young adult years, especially those between the ages of 15 and 35. There are a number of treatments available for Crohn’s sufferers, although there is no cure for the illness.

What Causes Crohn\'s Disease?
Unfortunately, there is no clear consensus on what actually causes Crohn’s disease, but there are a number of theories as to its origins. Some theorists suggest that Crohn’s disease is the result of a foreign virus or bacteria invading the gastrointestinal tract. Others believe that the illness is actually the result of an immune system disorder, in which the body attacks healthy bacteria in its intestine.

Crohn’s disease does appear to have a biological component and researchers have recently identified a gene shared by most Crohn\'s sufferers. This gene, called NOD2, may hold the clue to the cause of Crohn’s disease.

Fibromyalgia and Crohn\'s Disease
Though not very common, some people with fibromyalgia symptoms also appear to have Crohn\'s disease. They experience extreme gastrointestinal side effects, which may be the result of an immune system that has been compromised by fibromyalgia. The link between fibromyalgia and Crohn’s disease appears to be irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). IBS is a less serious form of IBD, and possibly a precursor to Crohn\'s disease in some fibromyalgia patients.

Table of Contents
1. Crohn's Disease
2. Crohn's symptoms
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