Chronic Style

A blog about living stylishly with a few chronic illnesses.

Extraintestinal manifestations in Crohn’s disease

I’ve been reminded recently — for several reasons and by many folks — of the unfamiliarity of extraintestinal manifestations (EIM or EIMs) in Crohn’s disease. Since I’m becoming a patient-expert on EIMs (through personal experience), I thought I’d share a bit more about what I know now.


Whac-a-mole cat (via Reddit)

EIMs occur in at least 25% of all patients dealing with Crohn’s and have been the primary focus of my care for going on 5 years now. My intestinal issues (knock on wood) have been mostly in remission. My EIMs though have been what my brother and husband call a game of whac-a-mole — just as one issue subsides (my knees), a new one seems to pop-up (my neck).

What’s been most helpful throughout the progression of this particular part of my disease course? Communication between my rheumatologist, my gastroenterologist, my dermatologist, my trainer, my perinatologist (when appropriate), my acupuncturist, and of course, me! Particularly with my knee-related inflammatory arthritis, I’ve found that low-impact exercise (biking, swimming, surfing, elliptical, and TRX), high-rep with low-weight exercises, and stretching are key for me.

Some more great resources on Crohn’s related EIMs here:

+ Extraintestinal Manifestations of Inflammatory Bowel Disease via the NIH
+ Extraintestinal Manifestations of Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Focus on the Musculoskeletal, Dermatologic, and Ocular Manifestations via Medscape
+ Arthritis complications via the CCFA

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