Thousands of people in the U.S. suffer from Crohn’s disease. What disease? Crohn’s disease. This isn’t a condition that’s discussed as often as many others and, therefore, it’s not widely understood. This presents a problem. How can a person support those diagnosed when they don’t know what its victims are up against?
No doubt, you agree that it’s much easier to be supportive when you’re informed. So…what do you need to know about this disease? First, you have to understand what it is. But there’s more. Consider 7 important facts.
What is Crohn’s Disease?
Also known as Crohn syndrome and regional enteritis, Crohn’s is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This is a chronic condition, which affects the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. It results in abdominal pain, fever, weight loss and diarrhea, which may contain blood if the inflammation is severe enough.
What other facts are important to keep in mind?
1. Crohn’s often goes undiagnosed
Why? Often, people dismiss the symptoms as nothing serious. They fail to mention it to their doctors and, therefore, they never find out the culprit.
What else contributes to the lack of diagnoses?
2. There’s currently no test to immediately identify it
Unlike other diseases, which can be identified rather quickly with a blood test or biopsy, Crohn’s is harder to detect. Often, it is diagnosed by process-of-elimination rather than being investigated early-on as the cause of unpleasant gastrointestinal problems.
It’s not unusual for a person to go in for series of tests and procedures before the diagnosis is given. Sadly, some even wait and wonder for years about the cause of their suffering.
3. There are different types
4. There’s no verified cause
While researchers haven’t been able to pin down the cause just yet, they do know what doesn’t cause Crohn’s disease. What’s that? Lifestyle choices, habits and things of that sort. A person can’t cause themselves to come down with this condition.
Research has shown that factors more along the lines of family history are what put a person at risk.
5. Crohn’s can be a cause of other issues, though
6. There are flare-up and remission periods
Most people with this disease do not suffer from symptoms 24/7 365. There are times when GI inflammation is at its peak and symptoms are at their worst. In remission periods, though, they feel relatively normal.