Generally speaking, people take the act of eating and digesting for granted. It’s just something you do 3-5 times a day more or less. In fact, many people don’t eat consciously without one iota of concern about what they are consuming.
For the 1.4 million people like me that live with an Inflammatory Bowel Disease, eating is a completely different story.
We think twice before we consume anything: analyzing if it has potential to cause pain; if we can actually digest it; how long it will take until it leaves our body and where we will be when that happens. After living with the disease for long enough, these things happen mostly subconsciously. The thoughts around eating become just part of the process – like chewing and swallowing. We just have a period of analysis first.
What is surprising about bowel disease is that it can cause problems severe enough that people can die from complications of this disease. I’m not talking about “old people”…I’m talking people in their 20s and 30s. This day in age with our modern medical miracles, medications, surgeries and more ,it seems incomprehensible that someone should die because of something going whacky with their guts. But I can tell you – it happens. It nearly happened to me. Thankfully I made it (barely). But I’m saddened by those that don’t, especially someone so young. It affects our community.
So while cramping, diarrhea and pain are a big part of these diseases – there is so much more to it. That’s why I’m thankful this is CCFA Awareness Week. Hopefully there will be many people like me sharing their stories and getting the word out that these diseases not only severely affect your life – but they can also be the cause for the loss of it.
I hope if you know someone with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis, please take this opportunity to learn more about their disease. Support from our loved ones is so important and appreciated. Let’s help ensure research continues and ultimately a cure.