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For individuals diagnosed with Crohn's disease, symptoms can be debilitating

Most Maryland residents can relate to eating something that didn't agree with their stomachs and experiencing discomfort, bloating and even diarrhea. For individuals who suffer from the chronic disease known as Crohn's disease these types of symptoms, and many others, are persistent and if left untreated may worsen over time.

According to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America, Crohn's disease is defined as "a chronic inflammatory condition of the gastrointestinal tract." Symptoms commonly experienced by individuals diagnosed with the disease include abdominal pain and cramping, diarrhea and rectal bleeding. These symptoms are often accompanied by weight loss, fatigue and fever.

Individuals who develop the disease are typically diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 35. For these individuals, coping with and learning to manage the symptoms associated with Crohn’s disease is often challenging.

There is no cure for Crohn's disease, but certain medications and lifestyle changes can help decrease the severity of symptoms commonly associated with the disease. Additionally, two-thirds of individuals diagnosed with the disease will eventually require surgery. For some individuals, painful and disabling symptoms of the disease persist despite undergoing surgery, taking medications and making dietary changes. For these individuals, working may prove to be too difficult.

Crohn's disease is considered an inflammatory bowel disease and may therefore be covered by Social Security Disability Insurance. Individuals applying for SSDI benefits are often overwhelmed by the process and, in many cases, first-time SSDI applicants are rejected due to insufficient documentation. Thankfully, individuals seeking disability benefits can appeal a claim and an attorney can provide assistance when doing so.

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