Crohn’s disease: GNTM participant Chanel suffers from this

Germany’s next top model candidate Chanel is suffering from Crohn’s disease. Since the intestinal disease of the 20-year-old GNTM participant was not recognized immediately, she had to undergo several operations. What is Crohn’s disease, how do you recognize the chronic disease and how do you deal with it?

Crohn’s disease  is a chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal tract. The disease often occurs in people in western countries – between the ages of 20 and 30. Both sexes are equally likely to develop the intestinal disease. Crohn’s disease  occurs in phases. The colon and rectum are particularly affected. The exact origin of the disease is still unknown, but can be favored by a number of factors.

These factors favor Crohn’s disease

The exact origin of the intestinal disease is still unknown. Crohn’s disease can be due to the following factors:

  • Genetic basis:  Crohn’s disease can often be found more frequently within individual families.
  • Environmental factors:  Crohn’s disease is particularly common in industrialized countries and urban areas. Causes can be diet, smoking and medication.
  • Excessive activation of the intestinal immune system:  A too strong  intestinal flora  can lead to changes in the intestinal cells through various chemical processes.

How do you recognize Crohn’s disease?

Those affected often suffer from  diarrhea  (89 percent), and  general malaise  (81.7 percent) and  pain  are the most important symptoms. Weight loss,  fistulas  (ulcers), and vomiting are other common complaints. Narrowing of the gastrointestinal tract and  abscesses  can also occur, these should be surgically removed. There is also an increased risk of carcinoma (tumor) in the affected region.

Caution:  If symptoms recur, such as diarrhea and abdominal pain in the lower abdomen or blood in the stool, you should see your family doctor.

A lifetime: Treatment options for Crohn’s disease

In order to make everyday life as pleasant as possible for those affected by Crohn’s disease, various therapeutic approaches are offered to alleviate the symptoms. Since it is not yet possible to cure the disease, the number of flare-ups should be reduced. The treatment options are therefore divided into different options:

  • Acute attack:  Depending on the severity, a diet, infusions or low-fiber liquid food are recommended. Various drugs are also used.
  • Long-term therapy:  The aim of long-term therapy is to maintain the improved condition and to avoid further flare-ups. Treatment is primarily through diet and medication.
  • Surgery:  In order to prevent the consequences of Crohn’s disease such as fistulas, abscesses or intestinal blockages, affected and inflamed sections of the intestine should be removed in some cases.

In addition to  diets , operations and an  adapted diet  , drugs such as immunosuppressants, TNF-alpha blockers and corticosteroids are administered depending on the type of therapy.

Living with Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease is considered incurable. With the right diet and drug treatment, severe flare-ups, problems and consequences can be reduced. The life expectancy of Crohn’s disease patients is around 78 years, but the risk of  developing colon  cancer is significantly higher. Those affected should  avoid stress  , get enough sleep and use sport as a healthy balance.

After successful therapy, Chanel leads a normal life. In addition to Germany’s Next Topmodel, the 20-year-old works as a teacher and has a happy relationship. Despite Crohn’s disease, Chanel never lost sight of her modeling dream.


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