Seven Myths about Crohn’s Disease that Need to Go Away

”Man with stomach pains"
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Despite the fact that Crohn’s disease impacts around 780,000 people in the US alone, there is not enough said about it. Due to this reason, there are a lot of prejudices and misconceptions about the condition that can seriously mar your perceptions. Whether you have Crohn’s disease or know someone who is suffering from it, it is a good idea to educate yourself about this condition. 

The following are a few of the most common myths about Chron’s Disease that need to be repudiated: 

  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Crohn’s Disease are the Same

Irritable bowel syndrome, also known as IBS is often wrongfully associated with Crohn’s disease because of the similarities in the condition. They’re both gastrointestinal ailments that irritate the gut. While this does mean that both of them are classified under irritable bowel diseases – IDS, IBS is a completely different condition. Crohn’s causes inflammation in the track whereas IBS affects the contractions of the muscles. Treatments and triggers for both of these conditions are also different so it is necessary to understand the differences. 

  • Crohn’s Disease Happens to Overweight People

Due to the fact that Crohn’s disease is a gastrointestinal condition, many people believe that overweight or obese people are more likely to develop it. On the other hand, Crohn’s disease does not occur in people because of the extra weight in their body. Careful research has highlighted that there are other circumstances, apart from a person’s body type, that causes Crohn’s to occur.

It is either inherited through a gene or it happens when the immune system of the body becomes compromised. There are many patients of Crohn’s disease who were healthy, physically fit individuals before the condition emerged.

  • Bad Eating Habits Cause Crohn’s Disease

This is not true at all. Crohns’ disease does not rely on your eating habits. However, your bad eating habits might be contributing to causing distress to your bowel. In this case, if a person is prone to getting Crohn’s disease, it might happen, but the chances for this are rather low.

Nevertheless, eating healthier is better for your gut and you so if you’re thinking of changing your diet, go for it. In rare cases, there have been times when an IDS condition caused by a bad diet can worsen and turn into Crohn’s disease, but this would mean that the immune system of the person has become compromised prior to this taking effect.

Learn more from this video below about proper eating with Chron’s Disease.

  • Crohn’s Disease Flares Up at an Age

No one needs to be a certain age to get diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. The condition can occur in children and teens, as well as adults. Data shows that around 20% to 30% of patients were diagnosed with Crohn’s disease before the age of 20. In fact, the number of children getting diagnosed with the disease is growing with each passing year.

In many teens, Crohn’s can occur because of complications in their bodies during puberty. Similarly, others inherited the gene from their parents or there is a family history of the condition. The silver lining here though is that early detection of the condition can allow for early treatment. This allows the possibility of the condition to go into remission faster.

  • It is Only a Stomach Condition

One of the worst misconceptions is the belief that Crohn’s disease is only a stomach condition. This downplays the impact that this disorder actually has on the day to day life of the patient. For many, it is not just a stomach condition. Crohn’s disease can cause a wide array of symptoms including:

  • Causing anemia or malnutrition
  • Pain in the body
  • Unexplainable fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Ulcers and bleeding sores
  • Fever and inflammation of the joints
  • Inflammation of the eyes and skin

All these make it difficult to just consider Crohn’s to be a stomach condition. A person can experience some of all of these symptoms based on the severity of the condition. Luckily, when in remission, a person can experience next to none of the symptoms listed above.

  • It’s Not a Disability

Any condition that greatly mars a person’s ability to perform certain basic actions or go about their daily routine is a disability. Crohn’s disease definitely comes under this definition. Considering how debilitating the symptoms of this disorder can be, Crohn’s is a disability. This is particularly true when it is affecting the physical health of the person to such a large degree that they are unable to leave the house.

Many patients of Crohn’s disease dread leaving their homes for fear that the condition might flare-up. They also have to actively plan their day out in order to ensure that they are near a bathroom or other private area in case of an emergency. While some people might not have symptoms that cause such a huge problem, this isn’t always the case.

  • You Have to Get Your Colon Removed

A common misunderstanding is that if you get Crohn’s disease, the way to cure it is to remove all or part of your colon. However, this is not the case. First of all, there is no cure for Crohn’s disease so getting operated on to cure it is a myth. Secondly, removal of your colon only occurs when the condition has started to cause the walls to thicken and cause the passage to close. This prevents the passage of waste and also contributes to continued inflammation, muscle cramps, and abdominal pain.

While 70% of patients with Crohn’s disease do opt for this operation, it is not necessary for all patients. Moreover, for people who have severe Crohn’s, removal of the diseased part of the colon can allow the condition to go into remission. This doesn’t mean that the condition is cured. Care needs to still be taken to ensure that it goes into long-term remission and they still need to continue their treatment plan for Crohn’s disease.