You don’t like to talk about your stomach problems. On some days, you’re perfectly fine. On other days, you have trouble leaving the bathroom. It’s highly embarrassing, and it makes it hard for you to stay behind your desk at your job in Omaha or Lincoln for longer than a few minutes. Even when you can, you’re in constant pain for the entire day.

You May Be Suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease

It is important to ask your doctor if your symptoms could be caused by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Common signs of IBD include fatigue, abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, or flu-like symptoms like fever, nausea, and vomiting. You may even experience abdominal tenderness or notice a mass in your abdomen due to inflamed loops in your bowel.

IBD could be a standalone issue or the result of other underlying conditions, including:

  • Crohn’s disease. This condition usually affects the entire alimentary tract—the tubular passage that extends between the mouth and the anus. It may result in obstruction, fistulas, perineal involvement, and extra-intestinal manifestations. Crohn’s disease is often incurable, with patients suffering chronic recurrence of symptoms even after surgical intervention.
  • Ulcerative colitis. While this condition may only affect the colon, patients will often experience inflammation from the bowel to the rectum. In most cases, ulcerative colitis can only be cured by total colectomy.

Proving That Your IBD Is Severe Enough to Qualify for Benefits

The Social Security Administration (SSA) doesn't seem to understand that many symptoms of IBD come and go without warning, and a patient may experience a sudden period of recurrence after months of remission. This is why your disability claim should include other symptoms that affect you from doing your job the majority of the time, such as anemia, malnutrition, weight loss, severe swelling (edema), gallstones, kidney stones, or other side effects of your bowel disease. You should include all medical records and lab tests that may be linked to your IBD so that the SSA has a complete picture of your condition and how difficult it is for you to perform regular work.

What are some of the biggest problems facing IBD patients in the workplace? Contact Cuddigan law at (402) 933-5400 or (402)231-4605 for more information on disability benefits for Irritable Bowel disease.

Sean D. Cuddigan
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SSA and VA Disability Attorney in Omaha, Nebraska
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