May 2015

Digestive Disorders:
Crohn’s Disease, Colitis and IBS

Showing proof of the severity of a claimant’s symptoms is key to proving disability.


Among the most devastating cases that come to me are those involving Crohn’s disease, colitis, or inflammatory bowel syndrome.

About one in five Americans are affected by symptoms which can range from minor annoyances to totally disabling conditions. Severe digestive disorders can also result from a myriad of other dis- eases, genetic factors and even the side effects of medication.

Crohn’s primarily strikes the young – typical onset is age 15-30 - but can occur at any age. It is a chronic, cyclical autoimmune disorder of the digestive tract. Although many people with this condition can lead happy productive lives, some can only function the early symptoms that are most likely to interfere with working. It is difficult to eat or digest food. Fever and joint pain are frequently reported and there may be hospitalizations and surgeries as the disease progresses.

When I build evidence to prove such a case, I work to gather detailed information from medical providers. Some cases are difficult to prove empirically, so I must show exactly how the condition prevents the patient from doing full-time work. This can be complicated by remissions and exacerbations of the disease.

As I teach each client, communication with the medical professionals is key. Experience has shown that people are often reluctant to discuss symptoms like incontinence and loss of bowel control. A personal diary can be helpful since medical records may not tell the whole story. Fatigue is so a severe symptom of these diseases and must be carefully charted. That diary can be used to doctors’ appointments to prompt memory and keep the medical charts accurate.

Any psychological aspect of the disorder should be developed into viable medical evidence through testing and treatment. The emotional impact of these diseases can be severe.

These cases are often won by presenting detailed charting and testimony about unpredictable daily activities. Does the person need constant proximity to a rest room and frequent breaks? How much time would the claimant need to spend away from a workstation? Unpredictable diarrhea presents incalculable limitations in public settings. Testimony about pain and fatigue can also clarify the impossibility of full-time work.

Remember, a few good days now and then are not the same as being able to sustain full-time work. Let me help you sort through the questions about this condition – there is never a charge for a consultation.

Free Seminar
at your location!

I will conduct a free seminar at your location on how to help clients suffering from digestive disorders or any other disability win cases. Please call my office to make arrangements.

Consultations are always free.
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