Crohn’s Disease and Extra-Intestinal Problems, Part 3

Crohn’s Disease and Extra-Intestinal Problems, Part 3

Crohn's Disease and Extra-Intestinal Problems, Part Three
Third in a series about Crohn’s disease and 
extra-intestinal problems and IBD-related symptoms. Read part one here and part two here

Crohn’s disease can lead to many other extra-intestinal complaints and ailments. As such, the third installment of this series will focus on additional problems or conditions that can happen in your joints and nerves. With a diagnosis of Crohn’s or colitis, the bowels often aren’t the only part of the body to have inflammation; the entire body is often involved in the suffering.

From top to bottom, Crohn’s disease and IBD can affect you anywhere. Complications can happen with any form of autoimmune disease through symptoms, sickness, or added complaints. Crohn’s patients, and all IBD sufferers, can experience extra-intestinal symptoms, and sometimes other problems manifest.

With any diagnosis, there are several ways it could affect your body, and these extra-intestinal ailments are a few of the symptoms IBD patients can face after diagnosis. Extra-intestinal ailments involving the joints and nerves can include joint pain, inflammation, arthritis, ankylosing spondylitissacroiliitis, and even osteoporosis may occur. Pain or numbness in the feet and hands can happen as well, with finger-clubbing or peripheral neuropathy and nerve damage.

Crohn's Disease and Extra-Intestinal Problems, Part Three
(Photo by Mary Horsley)

Arthritis is a form of inflammation, a condition of the joints. A lot of patients suffer joint pain with their IBD, and according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation, it is the most common of extraintestinal symptoms for patients to have.

Pain, numbness, weakness, or lack of feeling can occur with nerve problems, and IBD patients can be at greater risk of developing these other problems, the American Academy of Neurology stated in a press release titled, “Inflammatory Bowel Disease Linked to Nerve Damage.”

I’ve gone through it all. From my wrists beginning and continuing to hurt, to my toes, back, and entire body. I’ve suffered through X-rays and steroid shots in my thumbs, paraffin treatments, braces, splints, and MRIs. With nerve pain appearing near my armpits and in my side chest area, and with Humira, I had side effects that made it difficult to walk or move.

I have had a number of other symptoms stemming from my IBD. The way my head, joints, and nerves have been affected by issues relating to IBD is just the tip of the iceberg.

The list of “what-if” problems for Crohn’s disease is endless. With any diagnosis, each person has individual and unique symptoms. Some people experience more problems than others, and just because one person has a symptom does not mean all IBD warriors will have it.

My Crohn’s disease problems and experiences may be different from yours, but you can never be too prepared for the problems that could happen. With Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, for me, It Could Be Worse.

Crohn's Disease and Extra-Intestinal Problems, Part 3
(Photo by Mary Horsley)

Note: IBD News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website. The opinions expressed in this column are not those of IBD News Today, or its parent company, BioNews Services, and are intended to spark discussion about issues pertaining to IBD.


  1. Chevrotain says:

    I cured my troubles by eliminating one single food: olive oil. You know, the “healthy” oil? Turns out I’m allergic, and olive oil is nearly everywhere in foods these days because people think it’s good for you. Well, it’s not good for me. Haven’t had any trouble in over, gosh, a decade. You might be blaming the gluten in your noodles or the tomatoes, but actually, like me, it could be the olive oil. Dip a Popsicle stick in some of it and scratch your arm. If it welts up, you’ve got your culprit.

    • Mary Horsley says:

      I am glad that you finally found out your allergies, but I do know that I am not allergic to gluten or olive oil. Gluten was one of the first things my doctor had me cut out to see if it would help with my issues, and I know tomatoes are a No-No for my tummy. I am glad to see you’ve found a little relief by cutting out certain things.

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