W4 Reflection: Crohn’s Disease

The medical condition that I decided to discuss in my post is Crohn’s Disease. This is one type of an Inflammatory Bowel Disease where there is a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract. Specifically, it mostly affects the ileum (the small bowel) and the part of the colon. According to Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), common symptoms to be aware, include persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, urgent need to move bowels, abdominal cramps and pain, sensation of incomplete evacuation, and constipation. Crohn’s disease is of great importance considering it has been on the rise during the 21st century. One article by the telegraph found that four times as many teenagers are being treated for Crohn’s disease compared to 10 years ago. In addition, another article published on ibdnewstoday.com, it is estimated that Crohn’s disease affects 1.4 million Americans. And so from what I have read, heard, seen, and watched I feel that culture and biomedicine have definitely shaped the illness experience. One of the reasons why there seems to be a high jump seen in this medical condition is that researchers reason it is likely the result of more official diagnoses of Crohn’s Diease due to a greater public awareness of the disease. Unfortunately, there is no cure, which makes it little difficult as it is a life long condition and so life style changes are made. Generally most people who have Crohn’s disease eat gluten-free. And with heightened awareness it has become beneficial as the food industry has and is still becoming very accommodative to gluten-free needs. For instance restaurants indicate in their menus what items are gluten free. Specifically, East Lansing’s own Cottage Inn offers gluten free pizza. Moreover, Just last year the very famous cereal brand, Cheerios also became gluten free. There also sorts of resources out there available on how to live gluten free. This includes personal blogs posts, recipe books, and articles on the Internet. Yes it is still a medical condition one doesn’t want to experience, however it is fortunate in that end that there is so much research and public awareness about Crohn’s disease that the gluten free diet isn’t as hard to pursue now in comparison to 30 years ago.

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