Crohn’s and Fibromyalgia: What’s the Connection?

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People who suffer with fibromyalgia are usually fatigued. Fibromyalgia is a painful condition of the bones, muscles and joints. It affects more women than men. Fibromyalgia is a chronic disease Like Crohn’s. The cause of each disease is still unclear and there is no known cure although researchers believe genetics is a factor in both.

Crohn’s disease and fibromyalgia are often present together in patients. Actually, the drugs used to treat one disease often make the other worse. Certainly, this makes treating the diseases all that more difficult. Researchers don’t know up till now if the causes of these two diseases are the similar. Living a life with chronic illness is hard, frustrating and messy. Not only for the patient but for their family and loved ones too

Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is severe inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. It is one of a group of diseases called the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD). Crohn’s disease can attack anywhere throughout your digestive tract, from your anus to your mouth but it typically affects the small intestine. It is also associated with a number of gastrointestinal complications.

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

 Major symptoms of crohn’s disease include lower back pain, muscle pain and problems with your joints. They symptoms are often so devastating that it makes difficult for a person to eat and digest their food. They vary from person to person.

 

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Causes

There is no clear consensus on what actually causes Crohn’s disease unfortunately but there are a number of theories as to its origins. Crohn’s disease is the result of a foreign virus or bacteria invading the gastrointestinal tract, suggesting by some theories.

Immune system disorder may be the cause too in which the body attacks healthy bacteria in its intestine. Researchers have recently identified a gene shared by most Crohn’s sufferers so it does appear to have a biological component. This gene, called NOD2, may hold the clue to the cause of Crohn’s disease.

Fibromyalgia and crohn’s disease

Some people with fibromyalgia symptoms also appear to have Crohn’s disease though not very common. They experience extreme gastrointestinal side effects, which may be the result of an immune system that has been compromised by fibromyalgia.

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) appears to be the link between fibromyalgia and Crohn’s disease. IBS is a less serious form of IBD, and possibly a precursor to Crohn’s disease in some fibromyalgia patients. If you present with any severe symptom of gastrointestinal tract and you are already having fibromyalgia then there is a possibility that you have crohn’s disease. But the doctors need to confirm its possibility.

It not very common for someone to suffer from both diseases at a time but it does happen and it causes a lot of stress and anxiety for that person. Researchers are still trying to find out the cause that why they happen together. Irritable bowel syndrome is a disease that makes people unable to eat some types of food due to sensitivity to them. People suffering from fibromyalgia very often suffer from IBS too.

So that’s why most of the people end up in getting treatment for the IBS too. IBS may be the cause of crohn’s disease too. So both fibromyalgia and crohn’s disease are linked with IBS that’s why people suffering from fibromyalgia and IBS can end up in getting Crohn’s disease too.

If you have crohn’s disease you don’t have to deal with your symptoms always. Sometimes they just disappear and never come back and the other times you have to deal with them for extended period of time. But when you are dealing with the symptoms you make sure that you are getting the adequate treatment to reduce the pain.

Treatment

There is some good news for both Crohn’s and fibromyalgia patients. A treatment widely used to treat heroin addicts may hold promise for providing relief for sufferers of these chronic diseases. This drug is low-dose Naltrexone (LDN). LDN is an opiod antagonist, which means it blocks opiod receptors in the body, at least temporarily.

Opiods are a class of drugs typically prescribed for pain, such as morphine. The action of LDN is similar to rebooting your computer to clear the memory so you can resume working. LDN also seems to boost the body’s own immune system and helps it respond better to pain remedies, including those your body produces.

Doctors report success in treating patients with LDN for a variety of immune-related diseases, including Crohn’s and fibromyalgia. In fact, one physician who has used LDN extensively called the results “life changing” for his patients, and said LDN significantly improved his patients’ quality of life.

 

Also Read: 15 Common Fibromyalgia Diseases Probably you are not aware

 

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