Listen to this article here
Though most people know Tyler James Williams for his leading role in the television series, ‘Everybody Hates Chris’, he actually started acting at the age of four. Before landing that role, he had multiple appearances in programs such as ‘Little Bill’ and ‘Sesame Street’.
When ‘Everybody Hates Chris’ ended in 2009, Williams went on to act in other shows like ‘Law And Order: Special Victims Unit’ and ‘Two For The Money’. He even had a chance to show off his musical skills in 2012 when he played the lead role in Disney’s ‘Let It Shine’.
In 2014, he gained recognition for his role in the independent film, ‘Dear White People’. Since then, he has been in several other films and television series. His current role as Gregory Eddie in ‘Abbott Elementary’ has earned him a Golden Globe Award, a Screen Actors Guild Award, and a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award so far.
Despite dealing with painful symptoms for years, Williams was only diagnosed with Crohn’s disease in 2017 when he said his body “shut down”- sending him to the emergency room. He needed surgery to remove damaged sections of his intestines but also focuses on living a healthy lifestyle.
What Is Crohn’s Disease?
Crohn’s disease is a form of irritable bowel disease where sections of your digestive system become inflamed. While the condition typically affects the small intestine, inflammation can spread to deeper layers of your digestive system. This can result in severe pain and diarrhea that disrupt your day-to-day life.
The severity of your symptoms can vary but a few of the issues you can experience with Crohn’s disease include abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, fever, reduced appetite, and blood in your stool. These symptoms often go through a cycle of flares and remission.
Not all of your symptoms will be confined to your digestive system, though. Some people with Crohn’s disease will also have mouth sores, kidney stones, and joint inflammation. In some cases, Crohn’s disease can lead to complications such as ulcers, bowel obstruction, and anal fissures.
Doctors still don’t know what causes Crohn’s disease but research suggests that it could be hereditary. It could also be due to a problem with your immune system or an imbalance in gut bacteria.
How The Condition Is Diagnosed
Since there is no set test to confirm Crohn’s disease, your doctor may need to rule out other illnesses first. This will start with a thorough physical examination and collection of your medical history.
Afterward, they may recommend different assessments that will rule out other conditions. To do this, you may undergo blood tests and stool studies. Other tests that can diagnose the condition are computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), a biopsy, and a colonoscopy.
These tests can also help to determine the type of Crohn’s disease that you have. These categories are related to the location of the inflammation in your digestive system. For example, ileocolitis shows that the issue is in your small intestines and a part of the large intestine. On the other hand, gastroduodenal means that there is inflammation in the stomach and the top of the small intestine.
How Crohn’s Disease Is Treated
Crohn’s disease is a chronic condition for which there is no cure. Having been diagnosed, your doctor will focus on managing your symptoms so you have fewer flare-ups.
You’ll also have a medical regimen for handling the flares. Given that inflammation is a core characteristic of Crohn’s disease, you may be prescribed anti-inflammatory medication. Usually, these are corticosteroids. Some people also benefit from using immunosuppressants and biologics. Depending on your symptoms, you may take antibiotics, antidiarrheals, and pain relievers.
Though medication is often effective, some people with Crohn’s disease need to have surgery because of how damaged sections of their digestive system are. Surgical options can include the removal of small areas of the intestine or the widening of narrowed sections.
One major change you commonly have to make with Crohn’s disease is your diet. Your doctor might recommend that you avoid certain foods, which trigger your symptoms. Additionally, you may be given supplements to ensure your nutritive needs are being met.
Crohn’s disease can be debilitating. Fortunately, you can manage it effectively with medication and lifestyle changes. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms listed above, talk to your doctor immediately so they can assess you.