Crohn’s and Depression:
If it isn’t one end it’s the other
June 15, 2012 — Receiving a diagnosis of any illness can knock the wind out of us. It takes a while to breath normally again. We may experience symptoms of depression while we adjust to the chronic diagnosis and learn to manage it. After a period of adjustment, the depressive symptoms usually diminish, but sometimes not.
Quick Guide to Crohn’s Disease Symptoms
The symptoms of Crohn’s disease are similar to the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. However, a number of additional symptoms, not typically experienced in ulcerative colitis, may be experienced in patients with Crohn’s disease. One problem that is very uncommon in ulcerative colitis, but may be seen in Crohn’s disease, is the occurrence of fistulas and abscesses around the anus and ulcers within the anal canal. The complications occur because of the tendency of Crohn’s disease to penetrate more deeply into the bowel lining.
If you should experience any one or combination of the following symptoms, be sure to consult with your doctor.
• Rectal bleeding (blood and mucus in the stool)
• Rectal urgency (frequent trips to the toilet and urgent need to move the bowels that often cant be delayed)
• Severe abdominal cramps
• Frequent diarrhea
• Increased intestinal gas
• Persistent fatigue
• Weight loss
• Fistulas and abscesses around the anus and ulcers within anal canal
• Failure to grow or thrive in children
Some illnesses, such as Crohn’s disease, have symptoms that overlap with those of depression. For example, feelings of helplessness and a diminished sense of worth are common signs of depression, but also typical reactions to living with a chronic illness.
Crohn’s is a cyclical disease of the digestive tract and intestines, causing the tissue to inflame and swell. It hurts to think about it. Other symptoms are chronic diarrhea and abdominal cramps, rectal bleeding, fever, weight loss, and the development of ulcers. This illness requires regular monitoring by a physician and continuous monitoring by the patients.
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