Crohn's Disease Video

This chronic inflammatory gastrointestinal condition can have a devastating impact on a person's life. While there is no cure for crohn's disease, it is manageable with the right treatment options.
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Sherri Dmyterko: Heather Fegan is in the prime of her life. Newly married to the man of her dreams and in a career that she loves, you would never guess that from the age of 14 up until about a year ago, Heather endured consistent periods of pain because of flareups caused by Crohn's disease. Heather Fegan: When I first got sick I think I lost 20 pounds in a month, and I was really skinny, really weak. I am sure people wondered, oh, does she have an eating disorders? After that first month of really being secluded in the hospital; and I was there for a month, I went through every drug in the book and I would either be allergic or they would make me sicker, and just nothing really worked. Sherri Dmyterko: Depression, missing out on social activities, absence from work or school, surgery and hospitalizations are all realties for someone living with this disease. While it can occur at any age, most people are diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 35. Dr. Des Leddin specializes in the treatment of Crohn's disease. Dr. Des Leddin: The spectrum of Crohn's disease varies from people who might have one attack and never have another one, to the other end of the spectrum would be people who get an attack of Crohn's and it never stops. Majority of people live well with Crohn's, but a significant minority, life can be pretty difficult. Sherri Dmyterko: While there is no cure, Crohn's disease is manageable. With advances in research, there are now effective treatments that can sustain remission, allowing patients to return to a normal quality of life. Heather says her turning point came when she needed to travel for a job interview, at the same time she was experiencing a major flareup. Heather Fegan: I knew I had to go because I was not going to let Crohn stop me from getting my dream job. It worked out in the end, because I ended up getting the job, and from there, that's when I started new treatment. I decided to try Hemia, the new treatment, and instantly I started feeling better, and my Crohn's became a lot more manageable. Dr. Des Leddin: And it appears that these drugs, by blocking tumor necrosis factor, can make the disease go away, and for the first time with any of these drugs really we can actually see the disease heal up inside the bowel and essentially disappear. These Anti-TNF Antibodies are very effective in settling down the disease. Not everyone needs them, they are very powerful, and they do have risks of infection or tumor growth, which fortunately is very rare. But they are extremely effective. Sherri Dmyterko: People can live well with Crohn's disease. If you have been diagnosed with Crohn's disease and you are not feeling your best, if you are having unresolved gastrointestinal symptoms, or you want more information about Crohn's disease, speak with your doctor. Sherri Dmyterko reporting.

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