chron's

Spreading Awareness of Chron’s Disease

I had heard of Chron’s Disease before meeting people who have suffered with it, however I never delved in deep enough to find out what it actually is and how it can affect a person. I thought would be the right time more than ever, as I am currently feeling inspired to hear about the conditions that people can have.

Often, people do not realise the limitations a particular condition can have on an individual. They can be blind, just because a person looks physically well. This does not mean to say that they are not struggling or dealing with someone who is tough.

Taking Chron’s into account, it is a chronic inflammatory disease where the NHS describes it as

“a long-term condition that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system.”

It can start at any age, even childhood. In fact, every 30 minutes someone in the UK is diagnosed with Chron’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, which are known to be the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).

In addition, according to the NHS, today as a minimum there are 115,000 people living with the condition in the UK.

The symptoms associated with the condition can include:

  • Diarrhoea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Fatigue
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Blood and mucus in your stools

Mouth ulcers, fevers and anaemia are also common symptoms known to be associated with Chron’s. These along with other complications such as inflammation of the eyes, weaker bones and liver inflammation can occur.

There is no exact cause however gathered research other the years has suggested some possible factors. These include:

  • Genetics
  • Immune System
  • Infection (prior to the being diagnosed)
  • Smoking
  • Environmental factors

Depending on whether your case is mild or severe, treatments range from medication to surgical actions.

To find out more visit the NHS page.

The perfect opportunity has arisen for me to speak to Katie Guy who suffers from Chron’s Disease. She is my boyfriend’s sister, therefore I am aware of all the many appointments that she has to attend, which means scan after scan, finding the right medication to suit her and so forth.

Here are the questions and Katie’s answers below.

When was you diagnosed with Chron’s Disease?

December 2014

Does the condition disrupt your relationships, work or lifestyle in any way?

Yes as it can come on anytime. Sometimes I am too nervous to go out in public as I never know when it will hit me.

What effect has Chron’s had on your diet?

It has a major effect as I have to watch what I eat. I can’t have anything wholemeal, anything with seeds or pips, or anything with skin on it. I must have a low residue diet.

Have you ever had any major side effects from medication?

Nothing so far.

What is the biggest challenge for you when it comes to living with Chron’s?

The biggest challenge is food as I have to be really careful what I am eating. The slightest bit of food I can’t have can set me right off and I will be in agony with pain.

Do you have any advice for people who are relatively new to their diagnosis with Chron’s?

Yes don’t let it affect your life never be too afraid to admit what you have, take one step at a time with it. Some medication does help but not always. Make sure you do plenty of research and join the Chron’s and Colitis website as there is a lot of useful information on there.

Thank you Katie for sharing your experience of living with Chron’s.

For further information and details of upcoming events visit Chron’s and Colitis UK.

4 thoughts on “Spreading Awareness of Chron’s Disease

  1. Hi Natasha
    I am a cousin of Katie’s mum. My granddaughter has severe ulcerative colitis. It was diagnosed in December 2013. She has tried all forms of oral medication and they have not worked. She is on her last kind of treatment going in every 8 weeks to have intravenous treatment. She is to go back Friday but has been having symptoms of a flare up. So we hope they will do the treatment on a more regular basis to stop this from happening. This worries us enormously as it’s the last kind of treatment before they decide to fit a colostomy bag. As a 16 year old this will be very difficult for her to accept especially at this is the time she is all about image. She was suffering for months upon months before they decided to do the tests that confirmed the condition. Up until then we had never heard of it. More awareness is needed to highlight these kind of conditions.

    1. Hi, I hope that your granddaughter does receive the treatment on more of regular basis too. Thank you for sharing this with me. This is exactly why these conditions need to be spoken about more with relation to people’s experience.

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