Crohn’s disease can lead to many other extra-intestinal complaints and ailments. As such, the fifth installment of this series will focus on additional problems or conditions that can happen involving the rectum.
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, top to bottom, including the rectum.
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. As with any diagnosis, it could affect your body in several ways, and these extra-intestinal ailments are a few of the symptoms IBD patients can face after diagnosis.
Renal disease: Crohn’s patients can suffer from perianal disease, with abscesses and fistula problems, as well as kidney stone development and colon cancer.
A perianal abscess is a collection of pus on or in your rectum. In my case, it’s in. This can be a symptom of Crohn’s disease. Most anal abscesses lead to fissures, and a fissure means there is a tunnel that starts inside the anus and works its way to the outside of the skin.
Fistulas, or tunneling through the rectum, can and does happen. Abscesses, infections, anal fissures, or cuts can happen, too, and can be extremely painful.
As for me, I suffered an emergency abscess that took me to the emergency room. Upon inspection, the doctors knew it was too painful to be cut open without sedation, so emergency surgery to relieve the pressure was done. I had a six-week recovery time for my rectum, as part of it was cut out, with pain medication, sitz baths, and having to remove gauze from the opening myself. After this surgery, I was told I had a fistula, too, so another surgery was scheduled.
I ended up having a fistulotomy and another six weeks of recovery for my bottom. I couldn’t tense up or apply pressure, straining was a no-go, and more sitz baths were needed. I discuss my surgeries more in “Crohn’s Disease ‘Scope Series’: My Painful Fistulotomy.”
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 never can be too prepared for the problems that could happen. With Crohn’s disease, for me, It Could Be Worse.
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.