Now, it's hard enough to think about the fact that this gorgeous, vibrant young lady died but it's even harder to fathom the fact that she died from complications of a disease from which people rarely die unless untreated. So it made me look into it more to get a better understanding. Crohn's disease. What is it? How is it caused? Is there a cure for it? How is it treated?
What I learned is that Crohn's is an inflammatory bowel disease which is considered to be chronic. There are many thoughts about the cause of the illness ranging from the thought that there is no cause to the belief that it's caused by the environment, genetics, one's immune system and bacterial factors. Whatever the case, there is no known cure. Symptoms may include, but are not limited to, frequent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, the feeling of the need to move bowels and fatigue.
As mentioned, there is no known cure for the disease but there are recommendations for management of it. Some recommend avoiding gluten containing grains such as wheat, barley, rye and oats. There's also the suggestion of avoiding soy products, some nuts and eggs. And heavy proteins are not always tolerated well, either. It is recommended by some to add anti-inflammatory herbs to the diet, such as turmeric, ginger or cinnamon. In addition, probiotics, fish oils and vitamins (especially B-12 and D) are said to be very helpful.
While I am saddened for the loss of such a beautiful spirit such as my soror's daughter, I can't help but wonder if some of my emotion is not only because of her demise or the sympathy I feel for her survivors, but also because I realize that I could be one of the millions of people who have the disease. I'm blessed that I haven't been diagnosed with it but I have had one or two of the symptoms over the course of time and it has been said that many will show symptoms for many years before receiving the diagnosis. So, to be on the safe side (and because of the desire for overall good health), I am incorporating some of the changes that have been recommended for those with Crohn's. I'm limiting my gluten intake and substituting milk products with other things like almond or coconut milk (giving up cheese is very challenging, though). I ingest the vitamins and minerals recommended through the Youngevity Healthy Body Digestion Pak. This is a group of supplements designed to provide the body with the ultimate 90 essential nutrients needed for healthy daily living. This is obtained through the Tangy Tangerine healthy drink ,Osteo-FX, EFAs (the noted fish oils), enzymes and Flora FX, which is a proprietary formula of probiotics. I know that taking this pack, along with maintaining a healthy lifestyle of exercise, clean eating, getting enough sleep and reducing stress, can lead to a longer healthier life. I've got the supplements down. Incorporating the exercise more now. Working on the cleaner eating, getting enough sleep and reducing stress. You'll hear more about that journey soon.
In the meantime, take care of yourselves, inside and out.