What is Crohn’s Disease?
We make a bowl-full of poo puns, and laugh our butts off as we clock-in and clock-out here at Poo HQ, but there are moments we get serious and want to spark and partake in constructive conversations. One cause most near and dear to our hearts is Crohn’s disease. We dedicate time, money, service hours, and our hearts to those battling the uphill fight.
You may know someone living with Crohn’s disease, or perhaps you are living with the disease yourself. Unfortunately, the condition is still unknown to millions, and so today’s blog post is dedicated to shedding light on the condition affecting 1.6 million Americans.
Crohn’s is a type of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. According to the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, “Crohn’s most commonly affects the end of the small bowel (the ileum) and the beginning of the colon, but it may affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon, also called the large intestine.” Whereas ulcerative colitis affects only the colon and large intestine, Crohn’s disease can affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall, and threaten the quality of life for those battling it.
Crohn’s disease was named after Dr. Burrill B. Crohn who, in 1932, first documented the disease with Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer. The cause for Crohn’s disease has yet to be discovered, though it was once believed that diet and stress were responsible. Advanced research points to a malfunctioning immune system, genetics, and one's environment having clear factors for the onset of Crohn’s disease. (Healthline)
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America describes the signs and symptoms of Crohn’s disease as the following.
- Persistent diarrhea
- Rectal bleeding
- Urgent need to move bowels
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Sensation of incomplete evacuation
Men and women are both equally susceptible to being affected, however, it is adolescents and young adults most often plagued by the condition. Those living with Crohn’s are reminded every day of the burden of the disease. Crohn’s makes going to the bathroom a much more daunting, even at times embarrassing, task due to the frequency and odor of defecation.
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America explains what a Crohn's patient may experience.
- Inflammation may develop anywhere in the GI tract from the mouth to the anus
- Most commonly occurs at the end of the small intestine
- May appear in patches
- May extend through entire thickness of bowel wall
- About 67% of people in remission will have at least 1 relapse over the next 5 years
Additionally, when untreated, patients can experience significant weight loss, become more prone to sickness, headaches and joint pain. More unfortunate? Thousands of cases go undiagnosed or misdiagnosed for years before coming to a proper diagnosis, causing even harsher of outcomes for the patient.
Those living with Crohn’s are reminded every day of the burden of the disease
While there is no cure at this moment for Crohn’s, there are treatments. Options include medication designed to suppress your immune system’s abnormal inflammation. In addition to controlling inflammation, medication is used to help reduce the frequency of flare-ups that patients with Crohn’s disease often experience. Additionally, many physicians will advise patients to adopt a diet with more “bland” foods rather than spicy foods.
We have found, that not only is Poo~Pourri helpful for a good laugh or even a gag gift now and then, but it has helped change the lives of those living with this crippling disease. A few spritz before you go can cover the odor, and make living with Crohn's less of a stink.
If you think you may be suffering symptoms similar to Crohn’s disease, please consult your doctor as soon as possible.