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Friday, June 20, 2014

How it all started

A few weeks ago I was having a major melt-down on my poor husband. I was angry. I was frustrated. For anyone who really knows me, they know that I almost never cry, but here I was, bawling like a huge, overgrown baby. His advice (since we all know that's how men deal with things is to advise) was to start a blog about living with Crohn's Disease. So, here I am! Please note, I am not a medical expert. The people at the Crohn's Colitis Foundation of America, www.ccfa.org have kindly granted me permission to quote off of their site and to link to it. But, I will offer you encouragement, hope and maybe some inspiration.

For those of you who do not know much about Crohn's Disease or Colitis I'm going to share the medical explanation of what they both are, but my primary purpose here is to talk about what I know, and that is Crohn's.

Crohn's Disease and Colitis are often linked together. While they share similarities, there are also differences. I'm putting some of this information on here so that people who don't have one of these diseases can understand exactly what they are. Maybe you have a loved one who was just diagnosed, or a co-worker. Believe me, a little understanding goes a long way. Let me just add, before I type in all the boring stuff, that Crohn's is an UGLY disease. It's embarrassing, a bit humiliating and it is NOT an easy subject to talk about. I believe this is why people have "heard" about the disease, yet know nothing about it.

What is Crohn's Disease?
Crohn's is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) that most commonly affects the small bowel (ileum), but it can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract (GI) from the mouth to the anus.
Crohn's Disease can also affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall. Finally, in Crohn's Disease, the inflammation can 'skip', leaving normal areas in between patches of diseased intestine.

What are the signs and symptoms of Crohn's Disease (CD)?
Symptoms related to CD can affect any part of your GI tract. Symptoms can vary from patient to patient, and some may be more common than others.
Symptoms related to CD -

  • Persistent Diarrhea
  • Rectal Bleeding
  • Urgent need to move bowels
  • Abdominal cramps and pain
  • Sensation of incomplete evacuation
  • Constipation (can lead to bowel obstruction)
General symptoms that may be associated with CD and IBD - 
  • Fever 
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Night Sweats
  • Loss of normal menstrual cycle 
People suffering from CD often experience loss of appetite and may lose weight as a result. A feeling of low energy and fatigue is also common. Among young children, CD may delay growth and development. 

The previous information was provided by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. For more information go to their website: www.ccfa.org 

Many Blessings and remember to Live, Laugh, Love! 
C