Who? – There are currently 115,000 people living with Crohn’s in the UK. I like to think we keep Andrex in business. Imagine an Andrex loyalty scheme? Amazing. Anyway, It tends to favour women more then men and it most common in white people.
What? – Crohn’s Disease is a chronic illness that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive system. Symptoms can include – diarrhoea, abdominal pain, fatigue, weight loss and blood/mucus in your poo. These symptoms can be worrying and embarrassing but don’t shy away from telling your doctor. They have probably seen it all before!
Where? It can affect anywhere from your mouth to your anus. Most common site of inflammation is in your Colon or ileum. Stool samples and cameras are used to diagnose the location. Diagnosing Crohn’s can be a lengthy process and staying strong isn’t easy. Keep track of every little niggle, pain and poo. This can be helpful for you and your doctor.
When? Most people are diagnosed as teens/early adults – This is a difficult age as who really wants to openly talk about their bowel movements when you should be out partying? If you are feeling lonely, and need to chat to someone, even from the comfort of the toilet…I would highly recommend joining the Crohn’s & Colitis UK Facebook forum – It is a closed group so no one will see any embarrassing questions or stories!
A large number of cases are diagnosed in the elderly too so if you have a change in your poo – get it checked!
Why? No one knows why Crohn’s affects so many people but a list of factors which contribute to the disease are – genetics (thanks Mum and Dad!), smoking, environment, and a dodgy immune system. * Confused face* Hopefully with research and technology we will get a definite answer soon… Along with a cure!