Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week (December 1-7)

Did you know that in 2015, 3 million people were reported to have Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD)? Both Crohn’s Disease and Colitis are considered to be inflammatory bowel diseases. Crohn’s Disease can affect any part of the GI tract, but most frequently, it affects the portion of the small intestine before the large intestine and rectum. Ulcerative Colitis occurs in the large intestine and rectum. It is important to appropriately recognize IBD to decrease malabsorption of the nutrients your body needs. Hallmark symptoms for Crohn’s disease includes: abdominal cramps pain, diarrhea (with or without bleeding but it is rare), malaise, delayed growth (prepubescent), fistula, weight loss/malnutrition, arthritis, abdominal mass and tenderness. While the hallmark symptoms for Colitis, that have a gradual onset, include: frequent bowel movements (diarrhea – often with blood in the stool), fecal urgency without equal output, abdominal cramping, fever and tachycardia (found in severe cases), weight loss, blurred vision, eye pain, photophobia, arthritis. Proper diagnosis of this disease is important to make sure your body gets all the nutrients it needs.

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