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11 Celebrities With Crohn's Disease

First Posted: 08/01/2011 9:17 am EDT   Updated: 10/01/2011 6:12 am EDT

Crohn's disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease that can be incredibly challenging. In Crohn's disease, a rogue immune system attacks the digestive tract, causing inflammation and tissue damage.

Crohn's disease symptoms include abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever and fatigue. Like many autoimmune diseases, symptoms tend to cycle, getting worse during flare-ups and then subsiding.

Here are 11 people who achieved celebrity for their deeds -- not their Crohn's disease diagnosis -- and how they dealt with the condition.

Cynthia McFadden
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ABC News correspondent McFadden first experienced the excruciating pain of Crohn's disease, which her friends euphemistically dubbed "George," in her sophomore year of college.

"They weren't going to say, 'Did you have 15 diarrhea attacks today?'" the journalist says in a 1994 People magazine interview. "So, instead, they'd ask me, 'How's George?'"

After a bout of internal bleeding in 1979, she had 15 feet of intestine removed. McFadden, who now works to raise awareness about the disease with the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), has been mostly in remission ever since.

More from Health.com:
15 Healthy-Eating Tips for People With Crohn's Disease
10 Risk Factors for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
8 Websites for People With Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis
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Filed by Emma Gray  |