You may remember, a few years ago, when Katie Couric underwent a colonoscopy live on the today show. Her goal was to shed light on colon cancer and the importance of early detection.
Typically it's a procedure performed on those over the age of 50, but that's not necessarily the case when you talk about inflammatory bowel disease or IBD.
Earlier this year, WSAZ reporter Brooke Thacker was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, a form of IBD. Crohn’s is a chronic auto-immune disease that affects your digestive tract.
According to the Crohn's and Colitis foundation of America, Crohn's disease can occur in people of all ages, but primarily it's a disease of the young; many people are diagnosed between the ages of 15 to 35.
To be diagnosed you have to go through many tests that include a colonoscopy. Brooke decided to videotape this procedure to shed light on this disease.
Brooke remembers when her problems started “One day I came into work I had to go to the emergency room, I had to leave, because I was in such horrible pain.”
“It’s been sharp pains, dull achy pains, it’s been intense pain that bring me to my knees and brings tears to my eyes. I've been in a lot of pain.”
During a colonoscopy doctors insert a colonoscope into your rectum, in order to view your colon. Air is used to expand the colon. As one nurse explains “your colon, its like a wrinkled up shirt sleeve, they see in all the wrinkles and nooks and crannies.”
Once a person is diagnosed with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, it's life changing. While you can go on to live a normal life, there are challenges you face. For example making multiple trips to the bathroom throughout the day, taking large amounts of prescription drugs, weight loss, weight gain it can be an emotional roller coaster.
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