Six Fun Facts about Crohn’s Disease;
1. Where you live makes a difference. Meaning, Crohn’s disease is more common in people living at higher latitudes as opposed to lower latitudes. It’s also more prevalent in countries with Western lifestyles, such as North America and Europe. In fact, individuals with Eastern European heritages, especially Ashkenazi Jews, are more susceptible to the disease. That being said, that does NOT mean that if you live in lower latitudes, live in a country without Western lifestyle, or don’t have an Eastern European heritage, you cannot have Crohn’s disease. Cleveland Clinic’s Center for Continuing Education found that those who migrate from a low-risk to a high-risk area develop the same risk as those in their new environment.
2. Crohn’s Disease is often confused with ulcerative colitis. While they are similar, they are not the same. Ulcerative colitis only affects the inner most lining of the colon, while Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere in the gastrointestinal tract, in all layers of the bowel walls.
3. Crohn’s disease is capitalized, as it was named after Burrill B. Crohn, who first formally discovered and described the disease in 1932 along with colleagues Dr. Leon Ginzburg and Dr. Gordon D. Oppenheimer.
4. There is no known CAUSE OR CURE for Crohn’s disease. There are simply ways to manage the symptoms, and to achieve remission, but no cure.
5. Up to 20% of people with Crohn’s have a blood relative who has IBD (for me, personally, I have two family members who both have Crohn’s disease). Crohn’s disease affects men and women equally. While it’s considered a rare disease, there are approximately 700,000 people in the United States alone who are affected by Crohn’s disease. Symptoms can occur at ANY age, but most often starts between the ages of 15-35.
6. It is NOT contagious. You cannot catch Crohn’s disease from being with a partner, treated a patient, being around, etc. who has Crohn’s.