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What is Crohn’s Disease by Megan FelDotto

Posted by at 8:56 am 0 Comment Print

Crohn’s is a very serious disease. It affects as many as 1.6 million Americans. Many people get diagnosed before the age of thirty-five. Even though so many Americans are affected, I believe that so many of them don’t know what this disease is until they are diagnosed with it. I have an understanding of this disease because I have many family members who have suffered from it. Crohn’s is a chronic inflammatory bowel disease that affects the lining of the digestive tract. This disease affects a person’s colon and small bowel. It can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract.  Symptoms vary depending on the person, but include rectal bleeding, severe diarrhea, abdominal cramps and pain, constipation, fever, loss of appetite, weight loss, fatigue, night sweats, and for women a loss of a normal menstrual cycle. Crohn’s can affect any age. I have a cousin who got it as early as two years old. Crohn’s can have a major affect on a person’s life. It can affect their personal life pretty bad. I have a cousin who is in his thirties and can’t hold a job for long because he is constantly in and out of the hospital. As many as 700,000 Americans are affected, that is who have been diagnosed. The disease is more commonly found among adolescents and young adults ranging from fifteen to thirty-five years old. Nobody fully understands what causes this disease. Researchers are still trying to figure that out to this day. Today, researchers do suggest that Crohn’s is hereditary, genetic, and environmental factors. That would explain why so many of my family members have this disease. A poor diet and stress may cause Crohn’s to worsen if you have the disease. Studies have shown that 5% to 20% of affected individuals have a first-degree relative with the disease. If anyone in your family has this disease or any of the symptoms are relevant, I would strongly suggest getting tested for the disease.

When getting tested for Crohn’s, the doctor would start off by asking the usual questions, such as what are your daily diet, family history, and etc. The doctor can then say he’d like to have some work done on you. This is where he’d take blood samples, stool matter, and X-rays. Treatment options vary for each patient. Medication suppresses the immune system’s abnormal inflammatory response. This allows intestinal tissues to heal. Dieting and eating right may help reduce symptoms. Surgery is the last result. Surgery does not cure Crohn’s, but it saves portions of your GI tract and gives you the best life you can have with Crohn’s disease. All of my family members have received surgery and still suffer from the symptoms every once in awhile. The surgery let’s them have somewhat of a normal life.

If you think that you may suffer from any of these symptoms or know of any family member with this disease, I would definitely go to a doctor and get checked out. Remember if you are suffering from this disease that you are not alone. As many as 1.6 million Americans suffer from it. If you need more information on this topic or would like to donate to Crohn’s, check out the Crohn’s foundation. Check out the foundation, I strongly suggest it.



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