Before Biologics: David’s Treatment Journey
Crohn's and colitis involve the chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. This can put stress on your body, making it difficult to digest food, absorb nutrients, and eliminate waste. Though the exact cause is unknown, contributing factors may include environmental, genetic, or an abnormal response by the body’s immune system.
Navigating life with Crohn's and colitis can be overwhelming. Between avoiding triggers and managing flares, everything can feel downright exhausting at times.
No two people experience the same symptoms at the same time or to the same degree. Despite this, there are some similarities found among those living with these diseases.
David was diagnosed at age 58 after experiencing the onset of symptoms months earlier. The bloating. The painful stomach cramps. The endless trips to the bathroom. It all led him to seek help. At times, dealing with the physical and emotional challenges of his condition can be tough.
Below you can learn more about how it all impacts David’s day-to-day life.
For David, finding the right treatment has been a rocky road. He is feeling frustrated because his symptoms are not well controlled on his current treatment plan. His course of treatment has not included biologics or surgery. David is wondering what other options may be out there and relies on his doctor to make recommendations.
David has had more than 10 flares this past year. Certain triggers seem to make his symptoms worse. When flares hit, he finds that the fatigue and pain can be debilitating. He is slowly learning to ask for help when he needs it – and that he does not have to go it alone.
How Severe Were Your Symptoms During Your Last Flare?
Watching What He Eats
Mealtime is full of challenges for David. He often avoids eating certain food because he is afraid of how his body will react. Will he double over in pain? Need to run to the restroom? David keeps a food journal to help him identify food triggers. And he has a plan in place for those times when he feels like eating nothing at all.
When a flare strikes, David sometimes has to miss out on activities or cancel plans. It is not easy for David to talk to others about his disease or how much it impacts him. Will they understand? Judge him? Feel like he is a burden? He wants to share what he is going through but is not always sure how to start the conversation. David finds support from those in the community who are going through similar experiences.