Tag Archives: Crohn’s Disease

EISENHOWER’S BATTLE WITH CROHN’S DISEASE

Born October 14, 1890 in Denison, Texas, Dwight David Eisenhower was raised in Kansas.  He graduated from West Point in 1915 and began his military career.

During World War II, he was a five-star general in the United States Army and served as supreme commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe.  According to Wikipedia, he was responsible for planning and supervising the invasion of North Africa in Operation Torch in 1942-1943 and the successful invasion of France and Germany in 1944-1945 from the Western Front.

In 1953 at the age of sixty-two, Eisenhower was elected the 34th President of the United States.  On May 10, 1956, six months before being re-elected for a second term, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease.

What is Crohn’s disease?  According to the Mayo Clinic article “Crohn’s Disease—Symptoms and Causes” at https://www.mayoclinic.orgdiseases-conditions/crohns-disease. It is an inflammatory bowel disease which causes inflammation of the digestive tract.  It can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, fatigue, weight loss, and malnutrition.  Symptoms can range from mild to severe.

The exact cause of Crohn’s disease is unknown.  According to the Mayo Clinic article, risk factors for Crohn’s disease may include the following:

  • Age.  Crohn’s disease can occur at any age, but most people are diagnosed before they are thirty years old.
  • Ethnicity. Crohn’s disease can affect any ethnic group, but whites and people of Eastern European (Ashkenazi) Jewish descent have the highest risk.
  • Family history. If you have a close relative with the disease, such as a parent, sibling, or child, you are at higher risk to develop the disease.
  • Cigarette smoking. Cigarette smoking is the most important controllable risk factor for developing Crohn’s disease.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications. These include ibuprofen (Advil, Motrin, and others), naproxen sodium (Aleve), diclofenac sodium (Voltaren) and others.

Eisenhower served two terms in office from January 20, 1953 to January 20, 1961.  He died March 28, 1969.

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