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How Bodybuilding Can Help You Manage Crohn's Disease!

Having Crohn's disease may make you feel down, discouraged and leave you in pain when this disease rears its ugly head. And, your friends may not understand what you are going through... Learn more.

Article Summary:
  • Crohn's disease is an inflammation of the digestive tract.
  • Crohn's patients are at risk for developing many nutritional deficiencies.
  • At the present time, there is no cure for this disease.
  • Having Crohn's disease may make you feel down, discouraged and leave you in pain when this disease rears its ugly head. And, your friends may not understand what you are going through when you would rather stay at home and miss out on a good time because you don't feel up to par.

    Having Crohn's Disease May Make You Feel Down, Discouraged And Leave You In Pain When This Disease Rears Its Ugly Head.
    Enlarge Click Image To Enlarge.
    Having Crohn's Disease May Make You Feel Down, Discouraged And
    Leave You In Pain When This Disease Rears Its Ugly Head.

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    What Is Crohn's Disease?
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    Crohn's disease is a bowel disease characterized by an inflammation of the digestive tract leading to swelling and diarrhea. A person with Crohn's typically has diseased sections in between healthy sections of their intestines.

    This disease is typically diagnosed in someone aged 15-35 years old and affects men and women equally. However, those of Jewish ancestry have a higher incidence of Crohn's. Risk factors for Crohn's include:

    • Blood relative with some inflammatory bowel disease

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    Crohn's Disease Help!
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    Crohn's Disease Help!
    I know there is a couple guys on the forum who like me, suffer from Crohn's Disease. I am hoping I can overcome the drugs effect and put mass back on.
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    Metalcarnage

    The symptoms of Crohn's disease often vary but may include:

    • Abdominal pain
    • Diarrhea
    • Rectal bleeding
    • Weight loss
    • Arthritis
    • Skin problems
    • Fever
    • Anemia (if rectal bleeding is persistent)

    Problems associated with Crohn's disease include thickening of the intestinal wall causing swelling and scar tissue, which may narrow the passage area to the point where it becomes blocked.

    In addition, a person suffering from this disease may end up with sores and ulcers called fistulas as well as anal fissures, small tears to the mucus membrane that cause pain when stools pass.

    Fistula:
    In medicine, a fistula (pl. fistulas or fistulae) is an abnormal connection or passageway between two epithelium-lined organs or vessels that normally do not connect. It is generally a disease condition, but a fistula may be surgically created for therapeutic reasons.

    Crohn's may result in several complications including protein, calorie and vitamin deficiencies, arthritis, skin problems, inflammation in the eyes or mouth, kidney stones, gallstones, or other diseases of the liver and biliary system.

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    How Bodybuilding Can Help You Manage Crohn's Disease
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    • Bodybuilding Teaches You To Eat: You can't gain muscle mass without eating. And, consequently, bodybuilders eat and eat often. Even if you aren't very hungry but know you need the protein, RTD's and clear protein drinks come in very handy.

      Learning to feed your body even if you don't feel like eating is very important for Crohn's disease patients who often experience a decrease in appetite.

    Learning To Feed Your Body Even If You Don't Feel Like Eating Is Very Important For Crohn's Disease Patients.
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    Learning To Feed Your Body Even If You Don't Feel Like
    Eating Is Very Important For Crohn's Disease Patients.

    • Bodybuilders Supplement Their Diet: Bodybuilders consume high quality whey/casein protein and a multivitamin supplement daily.

      Doing this will help prevent some of the nutrition deficiencies that many Crohn's patients are at risk for developing.

    • Bodybuilding Helps Boost Your Spirits: When you are suffering from a disease that many of your friends may not understand, it can certainly take a toll on your overall well-being.

      Fortunately, bodybuilding helps you feel good about yourself and it can help you develop the attitude that you can overcome many challenges that life throws your way.

    Bodybuilding Helps You Feel Good About Yourself.
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    Bodybuilding Helps You
    Feel Good About Yourself.

    • Bodybuilders Know Their Body: Paying close attention to how you feel is vital for someone with Crohn's disease.

      You'll pick up when you don't feel up to par and this may help you catch possible complications before they get worse. And, you'll become attuned to what foods make your symptoms worse.

    RELATED POLL
    Do You Know Anyone With Crohn's Disease?

    Yes - I Know Someone With Crohn's Disease
    Yes - I Have Crohn's Disease
    No - I Don't Know Anyone With Crohn's Disease

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    Additional Tips To Help You Cope With Crohn's Disease
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    Treatment for Crohn's disease may include drugs, supplements recommended by your physician and even surgery. All of these measures can help treat the symptoms of Crohn's but at the present time, there is no cure for this disease. Because the disease recurs at various points in a person's life, it can be difficult to pinpoint when treatment has helped.

    Staying knowledgeable about your disease and seeking medical treatment when necessary is very important. For further information on Crohn's, take a look at the following websites:

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    Conclusion
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    Dealing with an intestinal disorder can be difficult but bodybuilding can help you cope by giving you the tools you need to stay positive, manage stress and help you eat a healthy diet.

    About The Author:

      Marie Spano is a leading authority on translating the latest nutrition and exercise science research into real life applications. Ms. Spano has also helped Olympic athletes, NFL-bound athletes and Fortune 500 executives enhance their health and performance through sound nutrition practices. She is a regular contributor to bodybuilding.com. For more information see: www.mariespano.com.

    References:

    1. Chron's Disease. http://digestive.niddk.nih.gov/ddiseases/pubs/crohns/index.htm