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How Crohn's disease affects the body

Crohn's disease is a bowel disease that causes inflammation within a victim's digestive tract. It can lead to weight loss, malnutrition, fatigue as well as diarrhea and severe abdominal pain. There currently is no known cure for the disease but it may be treated with therapy to reduce the symptoms and signs, and sometimes bring remission.

It is believed that as many as half a million American suffer from Crohn's disease. While many victims have only minor tolerable symptoms, others have much more severe symptoms that can drastically disrupt one's life and ability to work or function properly.

Recent studies have determined that over 170 genes are linked to the disease. In most cases, the more of these genes a person possesses, the more likely they are to develop the disease. It is now believed that an additional four genes, not previously associated with the disease, can now help explain its severity in victims. These recent findings may also enable drug manufacturers to develop drugs that specifically target the genetic pathways associated with Crohn's disease to help combat against it.

Crohn's disease is among the disabilities recognized by the Social Security Administration for Social Security Disability Benefits for illness. If it can be proven that your condition is expected to last at least a year or end in death, and is debilitating enough that you cannot maintain gainful employment, you may be eligible for benefits. It is important to remember that Social Security disability benefits are not designed to fully cover medical expenses, but may help provide some financial relief for cost of living expenses while a victim fights the condition and is unable to earn wages.

Source: Huffington Post, "New Genetic Discovery May Explain Why Some People With Crohn's Disease Suffer More," By Sarah DiGiullo, Jan. 20, 2017

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