I figure I’d better write about how stress can affect Crohn’s, especially for those Crohnies who follow my ramblings here, seeing how this seems to be a high-stress time for me! 🙂
In terms of the Crohn’s that I deal with, it seems that my body processes the stress pretty well. A few months back I had another very high-stress situation, and right afterwards had a blood draw scheduled. I asked them to check my CRP level, which shows if there is any inflammation going on somewhere in the body. (Stress oftentimes can cause an increase in inflammation.) My CRP level came back normal, so we determined at that time that on a microscopic level, it seems the Crohn’s is not affected. The worry is that the stress will lead to a flare-up, which can be pretty mild or devastating, and anywhere in between. Good times!!! I typically keep a pretty level head and don’t get worked up about much, so it’s interesting to evaluate how the Crohn’s is doing when life gets a bit rocky.
But what about in the daily symptoms of Crohn’s? Cramps, stomach-aches, more BM’s, etc.
Well, I’ve noticed a bit more unrest in my system the last few days. I know that my body is churning over things and I can feel my heart start to randomly race at times through the day and night. Lack of sleep certainly does not help that. I had some pretty good gas cramps yesterday that almost doubled me over. I’m not sure if it was something I ate. There isn’t an increase in D (never been much of a problem with this Crohnie!). So….I guess overall, besides the annoyance of the stress, my body is handling it…..okay.
Through all of it I think what keeps me doing okay is that at the base of it all, I have a strong foundation. Yes, my heart may race and I can’t sleep. But to the deepest depths of my heart I know it’s going to be okay. Maybe that’s where my body does okay in dealing with the stress. It affects the outward parts of me, but not the inner core. That’s not gonna shake. 🙂