Ulcerative Colitis And Crohn’s Disease Pain Locations Are Usually Different
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease pain locations are different, even though both of these conditions are classified as inflammatory bowel diseases . Also, the nature and location of pain vary from one person to the next.
This article explores Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis pain locations and types, what pain in different parts of the abdomen may mean, and how Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis pain locations can help with a diagnosis.
Jessica Olah / Verywell
Inflammation Vs Inflammatory Conditions
As Dr. Mukai touched upon, autoimmune inflammation that presents as ankylosing spondylitis and rheumatoid arthritis is in a different category.
Its when the body starts attacking itself, she says. Sometimes, this is triggered by an outside event, like a viral infection, which stimulates the immune system. This can cause joint destruction, ligament pain, and soft tissue swelling. Some of these conditions are hereditary while others just seem to happen.
Chronic And Acute Inflammation
Much like pain, there is acute and chronic inflammation. The cause of the inflammation often determines the form.
Acute Inflammation In acute inflammation the symptoms occur rapidly and in some cases may be severe. Patients may feel discomfort for several days, though more serious cases persist for weeks. Causes of acute inflammation include but are not limited to:
- Scratches and Cuts
- Sore Throat from a Flu or Cold
Chronic Inflammation Chronic inflammation can last for several months or years. This may be from the acute inflammation failing to destroy the root cause of harm in the body, the immune system is attacking itself, or a low intensity irritant continues to persist. Examples of chronic inflammation causes include:
Difference Between Acute And Chronic Inflammation
Dr. Bonney states, “Acute inflammation occurs for a shorter duration, but symptoms appear more quickly, and it can often be more severe. It generally self-resolves in two weeks or less. This type restores your body to its state before injury or illness. On the other hand, chronic inflammation is slower and more insidious. It is generally not as severe, and not as obvious, and manifests in different ways. It’s not necessarily in response to an injury or insult, and doesn’t always end when the illness or injury is healed. Chronic inflammation happens when this response lingers, and leaves your body in a constant state of high alert. Over time, chronic inflammation will have a negative effect on your tissues and organs, playing a role in a range of conditions from autoimmune disease to cancer to even strokes. Acute inflammation is necessary, however chronic inflammation can trigger your immune system to attack healthy tissue and organs in your body. And if it’s not addressed and resolved, prolonged inflammation increases risk of developing diseases like diabetes, heart disease, cancer, and autoimmune diseases like RA and inflammatory bowel diseases.”
The Right Kind Of Inflammation Is Essential To Your Body’s Healing System But Chronic Inflammation Can Be A Problem
The saying “too much of a good thing” applies to much of life, but especially to inflammation.
“People think inflammation needs to be stomped out at all times, but it plays an essential role in healing and injury repair to keep your body safe and healthy,” says Dr. Robert H. Shmerling, medical editor of Understanding Inflammation from Harvard Health Publishing and an associate professor of medicine at Harvard Medical School. “Some inflammation is good. Too much is often bad. The goal is to recognize when inflammation is simply doing its job, and when it can potentially cause problems.”
Signs of inflammation are like a car’s dashboard engine light. It tells you that something is wrong. But your response is not to take out the bulb, because that’s not the problem. Instead, you look at what caused the light to turn on. “It’s the same with inflammation,” says Dr. Shmerling. “It’s telling you that something bigger is going on that requires attention.”
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You’re Experiencing Digestive Issues
While we all have the occasional bout of diarrhea or moment of gassiness, ongoing symptoms like these could be a sign of chronic inflammation but especially in the gut.
“Inflammation in the gut can cause bloating, loose stools, urgency, and cramping,” Myers says. And it could be due to a food allergy, or something like irritable bowel syndrome , Crohn’s disease, or another inflammation-causing issue in your gut.
If you notice these issues, or feel as if you’re struggling with digestive issues, let your doctor know. It can take a while to get to the bottom of gut health issues, since there are so many factors involved. But the effort is definitely worth it.
Where Do These Numbers Come From
The American Cancer Society relies on information from the Surveillance, Epidemiology, and End Results database, maintained by the National Cancer Institute , to provide survival statistics for different types of cancer.
The SEER database tracks 5-year relative survival rates for breast cancer in the United States, based on how far the cancer has spread. The SEER database, however, does not group cancers by AJCC TNM stages . Instead, it groups cancers into localized, regional, and distant stages:
- Localized: There is no sign that the cancer has spread outside of the breast.
- Regional: The cancer has spread outside the breast to nearby structures or lymph nodes.
- Distant: The cancer has spread to distant parts of the body such as the lungs, liver or bones.
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Here’s What Inflammation Feels Like Say Physicians
Inflammation is supposed to be a really good thing for our body and help fight off things like infection, but when we produce too much it becomes harmful. “Inflammation happens in everyone, whether you’re aware of it or not. Your immune system has to create inflammation to protect the body from infection, injury, or disease. There are many things you wouldn’t be able to heal from without inflammation so it’s a good thing. The problem arises when it lasts longer than it should,”Dr. Seema Bonney, the founder and medical director of the Anti-Aging& Longevity Center of Philadelphia tells Eat This, Not That! Health. Too much inflammation causes damage to the organs, joints and contributes to chronic illnesses like heart disease, diabetes and more. We talked to experts who explain what inflammation feels like and what signs to be aware of. Read onand to ensure your health and the health of others, don’t miss these Sure Signs You’ve Already Had COVID.
What Does Heart Inflammation Feel Like
Inflammation of the heart frequently produces chest discomfort, making you feel as if you are experiencing a heart attack. However, not all chest pain is due to cardiac problems-many people suffer from chronic pain in their breastbone or upper back due to inflammation of the heart or other disorders such as cancer. The good news is that most cases of chest pain can be treated effectively with medications or lifestyle changes.
Heart inflammation can occur for many reasons. For example, autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus are known to affect the heart muscle itself, causing severe damage that may lead to heart failure. Heart disease is also associated with chronic infection, which can cause the body to produce antibodies that attack tissue components of the heart, including proteins found in the lining of the heart’s chambers . Infection-related heart inflammation can occur without noticeable symptoms or signs of infection-simply because the body is trying to fight off an invader-and may go undetected until it causes significant heart damage.
Pain that occurs as a result of heart inflammation can be felt anywhere within the region of the chest wall where bone meets muscle or fat.
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You Don’t Feel Like Yourself
Don’t feel like yourself? Low-grade inflammation causes changes in neurotransmitter activity and brain functioning, which research suggests makes the brain more susceptible to depression. And, inflammation may also prevent anti-depressants from working as effectively in some individuals.
This means signs of depressionnew onset or changes in severityoften signal some level of inflammation. Looking for ways to reduce inflammation while also seeking professional help is a good idea for mental and physical health, so check out these tips to support mental health through diet.
Extremely Subtle Signs You Have Too Much Inflammation In Your Body
If you’re experiencing signs yourbody has inflammation, it can crop up in the form of various symptoms, and be a sign of a number of different health concerns. Usually, inflammation is associated with joint health, since arthritis is one of the top causes of pain and swelling. But inflammation can be associated with other health concerns, beyond swollen joints.
While you’ll want to tell your doctor, if you happen to notice any of these symptoms, keep in mind that not all inflammation is bad. In fact, “we have two types of inflammation: acute and chronic,” nutrition coach Amanda Sauceda, MS, RDN,CLT, tells Bustle. “Acute inflammation is important to our health because it helps us heal. Think about when you twist your ankle and it becomes hot, red, and swollen. That is part of body’s response to help heal the injury.” And it’ll go away, once your ankle is healed.
What you want to watch out for are signs of chronic inflammation. “This is the type of inflammation that does more harm than good,” Sauceda says. “Think of chronic inflammation like a fire that needs to be put out in the body. Chronic inflammation has a domino effect where it can trigger a cascade of symptoms that cannegatively impact your health.”
Chronic inflammation be triggered by a variety of things, such as your genetic predisposition, what you eat, a lack of sleep, and other habits, Sauceda says. Whatever the case may be, here are a few signs you have too much inflammation, according to experts.
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Inflammation: Bodies On Fire Within
Inflammation is your body’s way of protecting itself from infection, illness or injury. The word does conjure the image of…fire. Additional blood, heat and chemical reactions can create healing, as well as pain to alert us when something is wrong.
Like fire, inflammation can serve us, or harm us, says PeaceHealth dietitian and diabetes educator Jendy Newman, RD. Low-grade inflammation can exist in many places throughout the body with very few symptoms, leading to all sorts of chronic problems.
Among the conditions caused or made worse by inflammation are:
- Alzheimers disease
- Chronic obstructive lung diseases
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Diseases where the immune system attacks the body, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, or scleroderma
Your doctor can confirm your inflammation levels with a test for C-reactive protein .
What Is Chronic Inflammation
To back up for a moment, let me give you a very brief primer on inflammation. Its a complex system in our bodies with an ever-growing list of identified components, but the big picture is that it occurs in two main ways. It can be a self-limited response to an injury or infection, for example, if you get a paper cut or a sprained ankle. Youll notice redness, pain, warmth, and swelling in the area. But once all the cells from the inflammatory response have done their job and the injury is healed, that inflammation disappears. Thats the kind of inflammation you want to happen.
The other kind of inflammation, called chronic inflammation, is the problematic one. It may occur if the immune system is trying to fend off infection, like Lyme disease, but isnt having success. Or it may occur if the immune system becomes confused, such as in someone who has antibodies to gluten that also end up attacking other parts of the body that resemble gluten. Inflammation also happens when the immune system senses that something isnt right, such as when LDL cholesterol makes its way into the lining of an artery. White blood cells follow, but instead of fixing the problem, they inadvertently make it worse by making the plaque unstable and more likely to rupture. These are all signs of inflammation in the body.
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You Keep Forgetting Things
Feel like you’re more forgetful or can’t remember things as well? Memory and cognition declines slowly as we age, but research suggests that higher inflammatory markers in the body lead to a decline that’s 8-12% greater.
It also appears that this decline starts in one’s middle-aged years. This means reducing inflammation early may impact memory loss later, so don’t blow off those memory lapses if they seem to be occurring more than normal. Eat more of these foods to help keep your brain sharp.
What Causes Chronic Inflammation
In addition to contributing to the development of illness, chronic inflammation can also be a symptom in autoimmune diseases like multiple sclerosis, lupus or rheumatoid arthritis, for example.
It can also result from untreated injuries or illnesses, or from exposure to industrial chemicals, pollutants and other environmental toxins.
Certain lifestyle factors may also make you more prone to developing chronic inflammation that can lead to disease, including:
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You Always Seem To Catch What’s Going Around
Chronic inflammation is an unhealthy and abnormal immune reaction that leads to an overstimulated and overworked immune system. This means when you come into contact with bacteria and viruses, the body may not be as equipped to fight them off and you may find yourself more susceptible to catching that cold going around.
To keep the immune system functioning at its best, look for ways to reduce chronic inflammation .
Rlq Or Middle Lower Abdominal Pain
The right lower quadrant or middle of your lower abdomen are common Crohn’s disease pain locations. It’s often described as a cramping pain.
Pain in this location is most common with subtypes of CD called ileocolitis and ileitis. Together, these subtypes account for 75% of all diagnosed cases of CD.
- Ileocolitis involves inflammation in two places: the ileum and part of the colon .
- Ileitis, which is about half as common as ileocolitis, affects only the ileum.
This pain often comes on within a few hours of eating a meal.
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You Have New Digestive Issues
Occasional digestive issues are normal, particularly when you deviate from your usual food intake or schedule. But a digestive issue that keeps returning over a period of time isn’t something to dismiss, as this may be a sign of inflammation.
The digestive tract is one of the first places inflammatory signs are often seen, and this is because of the role that good bacteria play in creating a protective barrier between what we digest and the rest of the body. When this process gets disrupted, inflammatory compounds have an easier time entering the bloodstream, triggering digestive issues and ongoing inflammation.
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Why Is Chronic Inflammation Dangerous
Because the signs are difficult to spot, many people dont find out chronic inflammation is a problem for them until they are diagnosed with a serious illness.
They may not even realize they have an inflammatory condition, because it’s a subtle change that occurs over weeks, months and even years, Amin said. So theyre just dealing with the symptoms, like fatigue, every day and, day after day, it gets a little bit worse.
Left unaddressed, chronic inflammation can damage healthy cells, tissues and organs, and may cause internal scarring, tissue death and damage to the DNA in previously healthy cells. Ultimately, this can lead to the development of potentially disabling or life-threatening illnesses, such as cancer or Type-2 diabetes.
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You’re Tired All The Time
Inflammation can be caused by too little sleep, as well as too much sleep. So, if you’re falling short of or exceeding the recommended seven to nine hours of sleep per night, there’s a good chance you have inflammation in your body.
But why does it happen? “It seems that too little sleep or too much sleep throws the body’s inflammatory response processes out of whack,” Chris Brantner, sleep expert and founder of SleepZoo, tells Bustle. “As a result, your cells respond with inappropriate inflammation. It’s almost as if your body treats inadequate sleep or too much sleep as it would an illness. It’s as if it thinks it’s sick and reacts accordingly.”
Fatigue can also be a side effect of other inflammatory issues, so if you’ve been feeling exhausted despite getting enough sleep each night let your doctor know. They can figure out why you’re so tired, and begin to correct the underlying cause.
General Body Aches And Pains
Systemic, long-term inflammation can lead to an increase in the production of inflammatory cytokines. Cytokines are a type of molecule secreted by immune cells. They normally play a role in modulating inflammatory reactions and attacking potentially invasive microorganisms. They otherwise help to regulate cellular processes within the body.
Chronic inflammation can contribute to an overproduction of inflammatory cytokines. As the body gets flooded with these molecules during chronic inflammation, the cytokines actually begin to attack healthy joint and muscle tissue, resulting in pain, swelling, redness, and stiffness. This can eventually lead to forms of arthritis.
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Spine Inflammation Is More Common Than You Think And It Can Bring About A Variety Of Painful Back Conditions
Back inflammation can feel like this.
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Youve likely heard the term inflammation. Beyond knowing that anti-inflammatory drugs like Advil treat it, you may not know much about this condition. As it turns out, it can be a substantial factor in causing , and if you treat back inflammation properly, you may feel better before you know it.