Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disease which primarily attacks the digestive tract. This encompasses any part of the digestive tract, starting with the lips and ending with the rectum. Some of the the symptoms associated with this aspect of Crohn’s are:
-bloody stools, often with mucous
-loss of appetite
-sores, fissures and ulcerations
-fistulas (abnormal openings between areas of the body)
Crohn’s frequently results in scarring and narrowing of the bowel which often requires surgery to remove. Crohn’s, like the other autoimmune diseases has no cure.
And, like the other autoimmune diseases, it also has an assortment of extra-intestinal manifestations such as:
-rashes and skin lesions
-inflammatory complications in organ systems such as the heart/circulatory system, lungs and eyes
Having a Crohn’s diagnosis has been both good and bad. I was thrilled to learn I had a real medical problem, after spending so many years being brushed off by doctors. It’s amazing how handy general practitioners are to label something “all in your head”. I had been called hysterical, anxious, depressed, stressed and was accused of being lazy AND looking for excuses not to work. Let’s just say I felt vindicated! Can you relate??