Crohn’s Disease ‘Beyond the Bathroom’ Series, Part Two

Crohn’s Disease ‘Beyond the Bathroom’ Series, Part Two
Crohn's Disease 'Beyond the Bathroom' Series, Part Two Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of columns by Mary Horsley about IBD-related symptoms that are "Beyond the Bathroom."  Read Part One here. Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis often cause problems outside of the restroom. To begin the "Beyond the Bathroom'" series, we kind of have to start with a few bathroom symptoms, like diarrhea and bloody stools, in order to get to the outside symptoms we suffer, like stomach pain, fatigue and anemia. For me, that's how it began. I saw bright red blood one day, and I started having diarrhea that never quite went away, not even now, three years later. In the beginning, I suffered no pain, no fatigue, just that shock from seeing red the first few times. Later, my stomach constantly ached. I began to be fatigued with every movement, and seeing red was no longer as horrifying. While some suffer diarrhea, others can suffer from constipation. Some have bright red blood (newer blood), others will see black, tarry stools (from older bleeding), or they can even see visible mucus at times. For some patients, this recurring diarrhea or bowel habit means food travels through the body too quickly, or too slowly, or there's inflammation somewhere in the digestive system. This can help to cause a number of other ills, such as malnutrition, weight loss, and dehydration, which ultimately can le
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