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Crohn's Disease - What is it like?

Due to the diverse nature of Crohn's Disease, it can be a challenge at times to describe exactly what this disease is like.

Author: Nadine Dredge
Date: Feb 24, 2012 - 10:29:42 AM


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Due to the diverse nature of Crohn's Disease, it can be a challenge at times to explain exactly what this disease is like. Simply put, Crohn's Disease is an autoimmune disease that causes chronic inflammation in the lining of the digestive tract. It commonly affects the colon but can also affect the esophagus and stomach, leaving the patient with constant pain, fatigue and weakness during periods of flare ups.

Diagnosis can be quite tricky as the symptoms are similar to both Celiac Disease and Irritable Bowel Syndrome. To make it worse, symptoms and side effects vary from patient to patient.

Many ask what Crohn's Disease feels like. It is difficult to explain as the disease jumps from periods of remission to periods of flare ups. During remission it is possible to lead a normal, active life. However, when the disease flares up, the extreme pain can only be described as digesting razor blades. It reaches the point where eating becomes obligatory instead of enjoyable due to the anticipated pain. The side effects of a flare up can be anywhere from headaches to nausea to painful joint pain.

What makes the disease unpredictable is the variety of triggers that can spark a flare up. Different foods cause different symptoms. For example, wheat will spark abdominal pain, seeds and nuts cause dizziness and nausea, caffeine invokes a quick twinge of pain and red meat will cause intestinal bleeding. Stress can also trigger a flare up, causing joints to become extremely painful, limiting mobility.

Treatment for this unpredictable disease is costly and challenging. Eliminating certain trigger foods from the diet can help to ease pain, but medication is necessary to control the severity of the inflammation. Surgically removing the damaged intestine may be needed down the road if the disease is unrelenting.

Crohn's Disease is extremely painful and can be debilitating if not cared for properly. It is important to be proactive and take the initiative to follow a proper diet and take the needed medication to help ease the painful symptoms. Eventually, Crohn's Disease becomes a part of life that you learn to live with.

(c) 2012, Nadine Dredge. Since being diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in September of 2011, Nadine has been writing articles from her personal experience to help spread awareness and assist those newly diagnosed. Because of the limitations of food, Nadine has been working hard to write a cookbook dedicated to helping people diagnosed with Crohn's Disease to enjoy food again. Watch for the cookbook coming to Amazon in April 2012.



View all articles by Nadine Dredge

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