Crohns Disease Is Serious, But Its Not An Automatic Turndown
When presenting any case to underwriting, its essential that the agent make clear if there has been a treatment history and good follow-up.
The same holds true when presenting to underwriting a client who has Crohns disease. Well look at some strategies for that here. First, though, lets review the basics of Crohns disease.
Also referred to as regional enteritis, Crohns disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal system from the mouth to the lower colon, where it can cause chronic inflammation. Most frequently, it affects the colon and small intestine, causing intestinal swelling, obstruction and scarring of the intestines.
The disease inherited its name from Dr. Burrill Crohn in the early 1930s, and today, it is estimated that approximately 1 million people suffer from it. The affected age groups tend to be in 15- to 30-year-olds and also 50- to 65-year-olds.
Currently, there is no known cause. Some experts believe it occurs when the body responds to a bacterial infection or virus, which in turn causes the intestinal walls to become inflamed.
A common result of the disease is a deficiency in the bodys ability to absorb food properly, due to excessive diarrhea. As a result of this malabsorption, the body suffers from lack of protein, calories or vitamins. Other related complications include liver problems, sores or skin rashes, kidney or gallbladder disease, and arthritis.
It can be a very serious affliction. Crohns disease can lead to colon cancer, for instance. Cancer of the colon and small intestine are more common in patients with Crohns disease than in the general population. Unfortunately, this risk rises as the duration of the disease increases.
Treatment can be administered in several different ways. For instance, some use dietary planning, such as avoiding foods known to increase disease activity. Types of foods, such as carbohydrates, have a big influence on intestinal microbes (yeast and bacteria). Further, lactose-filled products, refined sugar and most grains should be avoided.
What about medicinal therapies? Many medications have been designed to decrease inflammation within the bowel. For instance, many people take steroid medications.
However, the steroid regimen can be a controversial issue with some underwriters. That is because some experts believe the toxicity of steroids outweighs the merits of the treatment. In addition, some are concerned that steroids may produce unpleasant and potentially troublesome side effects.
Another drug therapy includes Azulfadine, or sulfasalazine. These drugs work as anti-inflammatory agents.