Patient story: "My life is now back on track."

Joseph Barr talks about managing Crohn's disease with medication and how he can still play the sports he loves.

"I had diarrhoea, weight loss and was unable to keep my food down. I threw up three or four times a day. Eventually, Iended up in hospital for two weeks, where doctors carried out tests, including stomach X-rays, a colonoscopy and a barium meal test.

"For the barium meal test, I had to swallow a liquid and 20 minutes later my stomach was X-rayed. Under the X-ray, the liquid highlights everything that's going on in the stomach.

"A colonoscopy isn't the greatest experience. A camera is attached to a microscope and inserted into the back passage. It goes quite far up into the colon and everything is recorded on video, which I was able to watch on a screen beside me.

"I was finally diagnosed with Crohn's disease, an inflammatory disease of the gut. It affects the small and large intestine, and can lead to internal bleeding.

"Initially, I was given steroids. It made a big difference straight away and reduced the inflammation a lot. I now take anti-inflammatory drugs every day, and I'll have to take them for the rest of my life. There's no cure for Crohn's disease, so the treatment I've been given helps me to manage my condition. My life is now back on track.

"I still do a lot of the things I used to do. I still go out with my friends, I can drink alcohol and I don't need to avoid any types offood. I'm still quite active. I can play football and cricket, and go to the gym as often as I can."

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Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 28 Nov 2016