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
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,
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
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.
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