Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss and malnutrition. Inflammation caused by Crohn's disease can involve different areas of the digestive tract in different people.
People with severe Crohn's disease may also experience inflammation of the skin, eyes, joints, liver, and bile duct.
The cause has yet to be determined but there are links to heredity and immune system malfunctions; diet and stress are known to be key aggravators. There are several forms of treatment including: anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics, nutrition therapy, and surgery. There is currently no cure for Crohn's Disease.
I was diagnosed with Crohn’s at age fifteen after years and years of intestinal turmoil. Ignoring any and all advice thrown my way (I was a teenager after all!), I finally wisened up in my twenties when:
A) I couldn’t afford to be sick
B) I had a really strong support system to encourage and motivate me.
Currently, I eat a plant based, dairy-free diet with the exception of eggs and a little bit of seafood every now and then. I don't take any medicine for my Crohn's, personally, I find that the side-effects outweigh the benefits. I do take a daily multivitamin as well as a fish oil supplement and I try to consume caffeine, alcohol, and sweets in moderation. Being mindful of what I eat is the single most important thing I do for myself everyday but coming in at a close second is curbing all unwanted/un-needed stress within the limits of my control.
Disclaimer: It took years to discover the diet and lifestyle habits that work best for me and I can only hope that these will work well for others.