Chron’s disease is a type of autoimmune disease that causes inflammation in the gastrointestinal or GI tract. The human body is designed to absorb nutrients from food such as carbohydrates and protein in order to fuel the body. The GI tract absorbs those nutrients and disposes of any waste from the food we eat. Beginning in the mouth, the GI tract, runs throughout the body and includes the intestines, stomach and esophagus. When an individual has Chron’s disease their immune system attacks the health cells located in the GI tract, resulting inflammation. This is why this condition is classified as an autoimmune disorder. The body produces antibodies that actually work against itself. Other types of autoimmune disorders include psoriasis, ulcerative colitis, rheumatoid arthritis, Graves disease, lupus and psoriatic arthritis.
Individuals living with Crohn’s disease may experience symptoms in a different manner. Some people have more symptoms than others and some people have no symptoms at all. Some of the more common symptoms of this disease include abdominal pain, diarrhea, fever, weight loss, rectal bleeding, abscesses, fistulas or an abnormal tube opening that connect two organs and intestinal obstructions.
Approximately one-third of the population living with Crohn’s disease may also experience additional symptoms such as skin inflammation, joint inflammation and eye inflammation.
Although the stages of Crohn’s disease can vary among individuals, it is entirely possible to live a full and satisfying life in spite of the presence of this condition. Some people even experience remissions of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease from time to time.
There are also medications available to assist in minimizing the symptoms of the condition, as well as other advanced treatments and therapies that can help one to live with this condition and still pursue their goals in life. Such treatments include nutritional therapy and treatments as well as possible surgery that can help to minimize the symptoms and possibly even reduce the chances of a recurrence in the case of severe flare-ups. The purpose of the UCB Crohn’s scholarship program is to demonstrate support for individuals who are living with Crohn’s disease and still working to pursue academic achievements with this disability scholarship program.