Moms with babies up to two years old are welcome to join us each week for this very informal session. You’ll meet with other new moms and a registered nurse to discuss infant development, health and social issues, breastfeeding and other important topics. Siblings and toddlers are welcome!
Understanding Life with Crohn’s Disease By Zac Woodruff, RN BS
Someone very close to me suffers from Crohn’s Disease and after recently spending some time with them, I realize just how big of an impact it has on someone’s day to day life when they suffer from it.
Imagine having diarrhea 10 – 20 times a day. Picture yourself having stomach pain, every day, all the time. What would it be like to worry about where the nearest bathroom was, every moment that you were out and about?
Try to go to the movies, or a restaurant, or take a road trip. Think about going out on a boat with your friends, or going for a hike. And now, interrupt every single one of those activities with stomach pain and an immediate, urgent need to use a bathroom.
This is life with Crohn’s disease, and it’s estimated to impact over 600,000 Americans. But what exactly is Crohn’s disease and where does it affect your body?
According to the CDC (2016), Crohn’s disease is a condition of chronic inflammation potentially involving any location of the gastrointestinal tract, but it often affects the end of the small bowel and the beginning of the large bowel. In Crohn's disease, all layers of the intestine may be involved and there can be normal healthy bowel between patches of diseased bowel.
Symptoms of Crohn’s disease commonly include persistent diarrhea (loose, watery, or frequent bowel movements), cramping, abdominal pain, fever, and rectal bleeding (at times).
The main treatment for someone living with Crohn’s involves finding methods to reduce the inflammation. Depending on the severity of the disease, different types of medications can be used to lessen symptoms. When symptoms are severe, the person suffering from Crohn’s may be treated with corticosteroids, immunomodulator medicines, or biologics (WebMD, 2016).
The most common complication of Crohn’s disease is blockage of the intestine due to swelling and scar tissue. Symptoms of blockage include cramping pain, vomiting, and bloating. Another complication is sores or ulcers within the intestinal tract. Sometimes these deep ulcers turn into tracts—called fistulas. Crohn’s patients may also have an increased risk of colon cancer as well (CDC, 2016).
Unfortunately, doctors don’t truly know what causes Crohn’s disease, although scientists do agree that it’s characterized by an abnormal response to the body’s immune system. It does seem to run in families, have a higher prevalence in certain ethnic backgrounds, and affect more smokers than nonsmokers.
With so many Americans suffering from this disease, there is a chance that you may know someone who does, or the person just might be you. I ask you to take a few moments to learn about it and empathize with those who have to live with this challenging disease.
Our Bumps and Bruises FREE Clinic is BACK! Join us THIS Saturday 8am-10am! First come, first served. FREE X-Rays, Braces, Physical therapy, and Orthopedic sports Medicine Consultations. IT REALLY IS FREE! See photo for more information!
Located in the hospital on the 3rd floor, suite 303 2700 SE Stratus Ave. McMinnville, OR ... See MoreSee Less