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Crohn’s disease may be hard to talk about, but it’s treatable

Many disabilities, such as paralysis and blindness, can be fairly obvious to other people. But there are many disabling conditions that may not appear on the outside. Some of these, like heart disease, are talked about openly by those with the illness. Unfortunately, there is a stigma attached to some disorders that may hold back many people from receiving treatment and SSDI benefits.

One such condition is Crohn’s disease. This is a condition that causes a person’s immune system to malfunction and attack cells in the digestive tract, usually the end of the small intestine and the top of the large intestine. Crohn’s disease can cause abdominal pain, cramps and diarrhea. People living with the disorder often are reluctant to go anywhere without knowing there is a bathroom available nearby. As readers can imagine, the fear of having an accident can limit one’s ability to work.

There is no cure, but treatments are available to help control the symptoms. Environment appears to be one factor. The number of new cases of Crohn’s disease is going up in wealthier parts of China and India, where many people are adopting Western-style work and eating habits.

Diet is especially believed to affect the severity of Crohn’s disease. Different foods affect the bacteria in our digestive systems differently, and change the population of the microbes in our intestines. One researcher said that certain foods help those with Crohn’s have fewer symptoms, while others aggravate the condition.

With medical care, many with Crohn’s are able to work full-time. Others, however, may need to stop working. For them, SSDI may be an option to make up the lost income.

Source: The New York Times, “Speaking Up About an Uncomfortable Condition,” Jane E. Brody, May 26, 2014


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