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Living with Crohn's Disease

            Crohn's disease (CD) is a condition of chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. It can affect any and all areas of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus. The disease is typically diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 25, it is a lifelong disease with currently no known cure. Currently the best way of diagnosing CD is through a colonoscopy with entry into the ileum with mucosal biopsies. The symptoms of Crohn's disease can vary from patient to patient and even one patient may experience varying symptoms with each episode of a flare up. The most typical symptoms are severe cramping abdominal pain usually after eating, diarrhea, blood and or mucus in the stool and a lump in the lower right abdomen. Familial aggregation has been known for more than 70 years and large concordance studies in twins in northern Europe were early indicators of a genetic component in Crohn's disease (Baumgart and Sandborn, 2012).
             During the viewing of the impact video about Jackie living with crohn's disease (Healthline Networks Inc. (2012) it became apparent of the struggles involved with living with crohn's disease. Jackie's struggles began as having abdominal cramping with bloody diarrhea. Despite visiting many different doctors and being told to use over the counter medications for the treatment of such things as lactose intolerance. Jackie's mother, being a nurse, thankfully with the contacts she had was able to get her daughter in to see appropriate doctors for the symptoms. Despite being in the medical field the mother felt powerless to help Jackie to get better. Jackie was finally diagnosed at 17 with CD with this diagnosis she was able to start the proper courses of treatment. The patient becoming involved in educational and support groups as described by Dr. Siegel in the videos is helpful in learning better food and treatment options available as well as having other people who have been through the same experiences as Jackie is.

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