Crohn’s Disease: ‘Beyond the Bathroom’ Series, Part Four

Crohn’s Disease: ‘Beyond the Bathroom’ Series, Part Four
Editor’s note: This is the  final installment in a series of columns by Mary Horsley about IBD-related symptoms that are “Beyond the Bathroom.”  Read Part One, Part Two, and Part Three. Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis, often cause problems outside of the restroom for many of their warriors. To continue the “Beyond the Bathroom” series, we will examine weight loss and weight gain, related issues like vomiting and loss of appetite, and IBD symptoms related to hair, vision and cognition. When inflammation takes over, sometimes the last thing a Crohn's or colitis patient wants is to eat food. Fearful of inflicting pain upon one's self, a patient will avoid meals, knowing how it will affect the body (and bowel). As a result, patients tend to lose weight, suffer malnutrition, and experience bouts of diarrhea, constipation, or both. Warriors may lose weight due to lack of eating, or an inability to keep food down, and experience nausea and vomiting symptoms, too. When this inflammation occurs your doctor can prescribe steroids. Prednisone is the go-to corticosteroid medication that may help patients find relief. However, it also may cause weight gain and other problems with prolonged use. Patients may develop "moon face," bloating with meals, and flares. Sometimes unhealthy foods are best, as a "healthy" choice of salad could cause a blockage or obstruction. When Crohn's and colitis patients have flare-ups or side effects, they can cause extraintestinal problems such as hair loss, mouth sores, blurred vision, inflamed eyes, as well as sleep and cognition difficulties. Crohn's disease affects many aspects of patie
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