Crohn’s Disease: ‘Beyond the Bathroom’ Series, Part Three

Crohn’s Disease: ‘Beyond the Bathroom’ Series, Part Three
Editor’s note: This is the third in a series of columns by Mary Horsley about IBD-related symptoms that are “Beyond the Bathroom.” Read Part One and Part Two. Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis often cause problems outside of the restroom for many of its warriors. To continue the “Beyond the Bathroom” series, we discuss symptoms of IBD, like body aches and pains, skin problems, and mental health with IBD, such as anxiety and depression. Often with a diagnosis of Crohn's or colitis, the bowels aren't the only part of the body to ache or have pains. As they are both autoimmune diseases, any part of the body can be affected, on the outside as well as within. Skin issues can arise with IBD and these diseases. Patients may suffer erythema nodosum, where they can get painful spots below the knees and on the shins. Or, they can develop hidradenitis suppurativa, a painful acne-like boil that lumps under the skin. Sometimes they require draining and often are found in the armpit and groin area. Hidradenitis suppurativa also is considered a chronic inflammatory disease, much like Crohn's disease. Patients also may suffer abscesses, ulcers, psoriasis, rashes, cancers, and other skin problems that can be side effects of the medications used to treat IBD. With skin problems on the outside, the joints and muscles hurt within. Joint inflammation leads to swelling, and even arthritis or arthralgia. Patients suffer hand, elbow, hip and back pains, along with stomach pain and rectal pain. Pain can happen anywhere, extra-intestinal symptoms, indeed. As well as experienci
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