If you follow Major League Baseball (MLB), you’ve probably been inundated with news regarding the current lockout – and concerns over whether the season will begin on time. However, if you’re interested in rare diseases and chronic illness, another topic may be on your mind: Cedric Mullins, who has recently opened up about his Crohn’s disease diagnosis.
Cedric Mullins: A Background
Boyce Cedric Mullins (“Cedric Mullins”) was born in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1994. This All-Star outfielder was drafted to the Baltimore Orioles in 2015 and made his debut in August 2018.
According to Sports Illustrated, Cedric Mullins began feeling ill in spring 2020. He experienced some abdominal pain, but thought he had food poisoning. At first, Mullins was not very concerned. However, his worries grew as summer came – and he was still experiencing pain.
After a variety of testing, Cedric Mullins received his Crohn’s disease diagnosis in November 2020. Unfortunately, this diagnosis came alongside a number of other physical ailments, culminating in him rapidly losing 20 pounds.
The big fear: Would he be able to play by the time the 2021 season began?
Ultimately, Cedric Mullins had a fantastic season. Even with his Crohn’s disease, he became a Silver Slugger winner, hit 30 home runs, stole 30 bases, and played in an All-Star Game. He hopes to continue this path in the future and help the Orioles achieve victory!
Perhaps more importantly, Mullins also hopes to raise awareness around Crohn’s disease – and knowing your own body. If something feels off, he says, don’t be worried to go get it checked out. As much as we sometimes push off our health issues, or feel like we’re being “overly concerned,” it is crucial to be able to identify when something is actually wrong.
About Crohn’s Disease
Crohn’s disease exists under the umbrella of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). This condition causes digestive tract inflammation, which often affects the colon and ileum. As the inflammation affects deeper layers of tissue, it can cause intense and sometimes debilitating pain. Doctors are not exactly sure what causes Crohn’s disease, though there are a number of associated risk factors. These risk factors include younger age (as the condition usually manifests before age 30), being Caucasian or Ashkenazi Jewish, living in an urban or industrialized area, smoking cigarettes, or having a family history of IBD.
Typically, Crohn’s disease moves between symptomatic and asymptomatic (remission) periods. Symptoms can include:
- Abdominal pain and cramping
- Mouth sores
- Anal pain or drainage
- Diarrhea and/or bloody stool
- Appetite loss
- Unintended weight loss
- Delay in growth and sexual development (in children)
- Bowel obstructions (complication)
- Increased risk of colon cancer
- Malnutrition (complication)
- Ulcers, fistulas, or anal fissures (complication)