Crohn’s disease affects 1.6 million Americans. the symptoms can vary greatly between people and, for many, it feels like a “hidden” disease that the general public simply doesn’t understand.
Do you know someone with Crohn’s? Chances are that you probably do and if you don’t, it’s most likely because they haven’t shared it with you yet. Given that 1.6 million people in America (Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation in America) and over 3 million are affected by it in Europe according to World IBD Day calculated for early 2015 it’s something you would expect almost everyone is aware of. However, many go undiagnosed solely because the symptoms are so varied and do not have a recognisable pattern to them.
As someone who got diagnosed with a severe form of Crohn’s Disease which has left me with just one tiny bit of intestine rather than two as most people do. I almost didn’t get diagnosed, it took over a year as I was left to nurse my flare up before I could be officially diagnosed and provided with adequate care. Why? Because Crohn’s Disease is seen as one that does not usually affect those with Asian origin and I seem to have hit a jackpot as an Indian!
So what is Crohn’s Disease? In brief, it’s inflammation in the gut that causes a myriad of symptoms and this is where it gets interesting/complicated…
The inflammation is caused by an autoimmune malfunction which surfaces in different ways depending on how worse your condition is. Yes, people with Crohn’s undergo surgeries, yes Crohnies can’t eat ‘regular food’ and yes, we have horrible stomach pains that can go on for days if not weeks but those are all the things that any doctor will be able to advise upon.