Tag Archives: Crohn’s Disease

The real struggles of three IBDers

On a normal day, car trouble or a busy grocery store are minor inconveniences. When you add Crohn’s or Colitis to your schedule, your normal day can turn into a bad dream in no time.

To raise awareness of this struggle and show how strong these survivors are, we wanted to share three encouraging stories as we look forward to the bright future of IBDers.

 

Amber Lopez Pelton, Crohn’s SurvivorImage may contain: 2 people, people sitting and indoor

I’m still wearing purple to raise awareness for IBD💜💜💜 I thought someone fixed the brake lights a while ago, but some nice man honked his horn& told me they were out still out. Being in a bad flare, I had an extra change of clothes& took the girls with me& changed& cleaned myself the best I could while I got the truck serviced. It was very embarrassing but The Automotive place treated us very well& gave us a good price& understood. They got to see a little bit of a taste of what us IBDrs go thru on a daily basis, behind closed doors. It can cause depression as well. It’s an autoimmune disease!! So please, take us seriously, many have passed from this& it can b hereditary.

Let’s fight for a cure everyone!! 

Oh& it can turn into Cancer without proper treatment. So let’s raise awareness& fight for a cure💜💜💜Stay strong my IBD Warriors!!

 

Nicole Lynn Cochran, Ostomy SporterImage may contain: 2 people, people smiling, text

I am 28 years old and have suffered from severe ulcerative colitis since I was 19. For years I hid my illness and was embarrassed to talk about the painful and debilitating symptoms associated with inflammatory bowel disease.

I had gone through over 30 medications including biologics, high dose steroids and even forms of chemotherapy with no relief. My colon was killing me. Three weeks ago I went under the knife to remove my diseased colon. I have two more surgeries to go to create my jpouch and to reverse my ileostomy.

I wear a bag and I am not embarrassed, and I have no reason to be.

This bag is giving me LIFE and I intend to take full advantage of that.

I have come a long way from the 19 year old girl that was afraid to talk about her illness. I have an ostomy and I am proud of it!

 

Image may contain: one or more people and plantAmber Schieber, Lifetime IBD Warrior

I’ve had Crohns Colitis and IBD since I’m 9 years old, I’m 20 now, my disease is so sever it has moved into my lungs and has caused respiratory diseases. ” Just breathe” is written in my parents handwriting, symbolic to, deep breath, everything is going to be okay, one step at a time.

Everything does get better, don’t give up, fight like a girl.

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Are you #IBDAware?

IBD includes Crohn's and Ulcerative Colitis.Inflammatory Bowl Disease is inflammation of your digestive tract. The two main conditions of IBD are Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

This week, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America is hosting an awareness week, asking, “Are you #IBDAware?” It’s estimated that nearly 700,000 Americans are affected by both Crohn’s and Colitis. That’s almost 1.5 million people dealing with these chronic conditions. However, everyone’s experiences and symptoms can be different, and most of them are manageable with a combination of treatments.

The difference

Crohn’s and Ulceritive Colitis have similar symptoms but affect different areas of the gastrointestinal tract. “Crohn’s most commonly affects the end of the small bowel and the beginning of the colon,” says the CCFA, “but it may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus.” Ulcerative colitis mainly affects the colon or large intestine.

Diet’s role in care management

Most IBD conditions can be attributed to genetics, but diet can also contribute to well-being. “While your diet is not a cause of your disease and changing your diet will not cure you,” says CCFA, “paying special attention to your diet can help reduce and control your IBD symptoms.” They go on to recommend keeping a food journal to track what you eat. Then when you have a flare up, you can see if there’s any correlation to your diet.

CCFA in Southeast Michigan

The CCFA offers support groups for folks living with IBD. The Michigan Chapter is in Farmington Hills. A combination of paid and volunteer staff work to bring you information and advice while organizing events throughout the community. The Chapter Medical Advisory Committee (CMAC) is comprised of doctors from the area who are dedicated to offering support and furthering awareness about IBD.

In June 2016, there are several “Take Steps” walks, including in Royal Oak and Grand Rapids. The Michigan Chapter also organizes Camp Oasis, a summer camp for children with IBD.

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World Ostomy Day 2015

Ostomies are surrounded by stigma, but hundreds of thousands of Americans have one.

Ostomies are often stigmatized, but they’ve made life better for hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Ostomies are medically created openings to the body to help folks deal with different digestive issues. People with Inflammatory Bowel Disease, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and some cancers can benefit from an ostomy.

October 2 marks World Ostomy Day for 2015. This is an awareness campaign that’s celebrated every three years to try to reduce the stigma surrounding ostomies. There are a few different types. Colostomy, Ileostomy, Urustomy and Stoma treat bladder and intestinal issues.

The Huffington Post reports that around 750,000 people in the U.S. live with ostomies. Their recent article, “8 Myths About Ostomies Debunked,” takes a look at some of the assumptions people make and how they can be harmful.

The article points out how an ostomy isn’t the end of the world. And in fact, it can be a ticket to freedom for folks struggling with digestive illnesses.

Stephanie, a Crohn’s disease patient who had ostomy surgery in 2012, said: “Having an ostomy has given me back my life and I am able to do all of things that I’ve always wanted to do, but had been held back before by Crohn’s disease.”

For more information, have a look at the United Ostomy Assocations of America. They offer resources like support groups, discussion boards and events for folks with ostomies and their families.

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Crohn’s Disease fact sheet

It’s estimated that some 700,000 people in the U.S. suffer from Crohn’s Disease. A type of inflammatory bowel disease, Crohn’s causes inflammation of the gut which can lead to some serious symptoms.

Crohn's Disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease suffered by millions.

Crohn’s disease is a mysterious yet manageable digestive disorder.

Dr. Wael Refai, board-certified MD in internal medicine, gastroenterology and transplant hepatology at Troy Gastroenterology, sat down with us to discuss some of the facts of this mysterious disorder.

Causes

“The cause of the disease is unknown,” says Dr. Refai. “But there are some genetic predispositions, and exposure to certain environmental factors may trigger the immune system.”

The biggest environmental factor is smoking. Crohn’s disease is “about twice as common in smokers than nonsmokers,” says Dr. Refai.

Crohn’s is just as common in women and men, and the age for development is surprisingly young. “Crohn’s is more prevalent among adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35,” says the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America.

Symptoms and treatment

Diarrhea is the most common symptom, but another one that’s often reported is a feeling of needing to go without being able to. And since “Crohn’s attacks the last part of the small intestine,” says Dr. Refai, “the most common location of pain is the right lower side of the abdomen.”

Other symptoms include weight loss, lethargy, decreased appetite, mouth ulcers and anal fissures. If you’re experiencing bloody stool, you may become anemic as well.

The course of treatment depends on a number of factors. The severity of the symptoms, the site of the affected area or other secondary problems will influence the treatment your doctor decides. Frequently, doctors recommend a steroid treatment, antibiotics or dietary changes. Rarely, surgery is necessary.

Other things to consider

“If Crohn’s Disease is affecting your large intestine,” says Dr. Refai, “you’re at a slightly increased risk for developing cancer.” Patients with large intestine Crohn’s should take preventive measures such as colonoscopies to preemptively intervene with cancer. The earlier any complications from Crohn’s are caught, the less likely that you’ll develop cancer.

Additionally, not every course of treatment will work for every patient. Following your doctor’s recommend course of treatment is the best way “to increase your chance of remaining free from flare-ups,” suggests Dr. Refai.

But a word of warning: “Diligence may not work all the time. There is a balance between the benefits of the medications and the possible side effects for some patients.”

Beyond the medical implications of Crohn’s, it’s important to remember that if you suffer from the disease, you are not alone. There are several celebrities who struggle with the disease, and CCFA offers support groups to help you cope.

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