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Julia Kizhner
Julia Kizhner, Physician Assistant
Category: Health
Satisfied Customers: 1126
Experience:  7 years experience working in Primary Care as well as Gastroenterology, Sleep Medicine & Weight Loss
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occasional sharp pains during exercise

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I have Crohn's disease and had lots of infection - a 3 time recurring abdominal abscess within a 6 weeks which led to 2 surgeries in the month following. 8 months later I had an ileostomy reversal. That was two years ago and the pinching pain seems to have become more constant with occasional sharp pains during exercise. I have read that adhesions don't usually get treated. My question is how do I distinguish between pain from adhesions and the beginings of a Crohn's flare/complication or some sort of infection? I'm just not sure when to contact my doctor?

Hello and thank you for your question,


There are several key factors that will help you to distinguish between adhesions, infection and Crohn's flare-up.


During a Crohn's flare-up you will start to experience consistently increasing amount of abdominal pain, increased amount of bloody diarrhea and overall not well being.


With infection, there is no increase in diarrhea and no rectal bleeding. However, you will spike a fever, exhibit fever and chills, along with generalized abdominal pain which is not related to exercise or anything that you do. Nothing will make this pain better or worse (actually same applies to Cronh's flare-up but there you will have bloody diarrhea in addition).


Adhesions which are very common following extensive abdominal surgery usually cause pain upon movement, pain is rather sharp. There is no fever, no diarrhea or blood in the stool with adhesions. What happens is a scar tissue attaches itself to your intestine as well as to the abdominal wall and every time there is movement, it will pull on the intestine causing the pain. If pain from adhesions is bad enough, you can have laparascopic surgery during which adhesions are lysed (broken up), this usually improves pain.


I hope you find this information helpful. Please feel free to follow-up with any other questions you might have.

If you are satisfied with the answer, please do click 'Accept' button so that I may get credit for my work.


Best wishes and good luck,


Customer: replied 5 years ago.

What I worry about is the fact that throughout all of the months I had abdominal infection with white counts in the 40's, I did not spike fevers. So I just wanted to have alternative symptoms to watch for.

Your response makes sense, thank you!

You are welcome. I am glad I explained it.

You would have been extremely ill if you had infection all this time. Infection always shows its ugly end sooner then later.


Please click green 'Accept' button so that I may get credit for my work.



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