Whether in remission or not, the day-to-day of life with IBD can be challenging. Living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, even when feeling well, might mean making lifestyle changes, going to doctor’s appointments, and taking medications. Many people are diagnosed young, at a time when their friends aren’t going through anything similar. To understand how people might deal effectively with these changes, Amber talks with Dr Sandra Quezada, a gastroenterologist who specializes in IBD at the University of Maryland Medical Center and Varada Srivastava, a Crohn’s disease patient and biotechnology major who is also a 2022 Crohn’s and Colitis Young Adults Network fellow.Continue reading
Myths and misconceptions about IBD are common. Even amongst patients, there’s things that take time and education to understand because the things that swirl around in the public consciousness are not always true. To help understand why we can’t get rid of some of these common misconceptions, Amber Tresca is joined by gastroenterologist and IBDologist Siobhan Proksell, MD, and ulcerative colitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) patient advocate Molly Dunham-Friel, MPH of Better Bellies By Molly.Continue reading
People who live with chronic illness don’t get training on how to deal with health insurance. Yet it is a major part of living with conditions such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Plus, it not only affects patients living with IBD, but our doctors and other healthcare providers are also frustrated and overburdened with dealing with red tape such as prior authorizations. Dr Shubha Bhat, a gastroenterology clinical pharmacist at the Cleveland Clinic and Jaime Holland, who is a healthcare activist and Crohn’s disease patient tell me how they handle health insurance complications and what we can do to change the system.Continue reading
People who live with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis don’t want to feel like a burden. They may feel guilty about changing or canceling plans. Sometimes, people with IBD may not even want to make plans in the first place. A strong support system can help overcome these issues and help patients manage their new normal. Dr Alexandra Fuss, a clinical health psychologist and an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry in the Department of Psychiatry at Yale School of Medicine and Brooke Abbott, ulcerative colitis patient, founder of The Crazy Creole Mommy Chronicles, and co-founder of IBDMoms tell me how they have productive conversations with friends and family surrounding IBD.Continue reading
Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are complicated. There are choices to make along the treatment journey, which means that patients and their healthcare providers need to work together to find the right path. That’s where shared decision-making comes into play.
Healthcare providers can help patients learn about their options but patients need to speak up and help their doctors understand what they want from their treatment options, because it’s not always obvious. To better understand shared decision-making in IBD, I speak to Dr Rajeev Jain, a gastroenterologist in private practice in Dallas, Texas and Caitlyn Smith, ulcerative colitis patient and editor at The Mighty.Continue reading
After being diagnosed with a form of IBD, it can be a real challenge to understand that treatment is ongoing. Which might mean taking medications for long periods of time. It also means adding in lifestyle changes such as focusing on nutrition and diet, sleep, exercise, stress reduction, and learning about complimentary treatments that might be helpful.
There are a lot of barriers to getting treatment, though, including cost and access. Some people might not realize that not only can their healthcare team can help with accessing and understanding treatment choices, but that complimentary therapies have a valid place in the management of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Dr Badr Al-Bawardy, a gastroenterologist specializing in IBD and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Yale University School of Medicine and Tina Haupert, an ulcerative colitis patient, Certified Nutrition Coach, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner, and founder of Carrots ‘N’ Cake uncover the ways medication and lifestyle changes can meet in the middle to help people with IBD live a better quality of life.Continue reading
We all have goals in life. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can sometimes get in the way. It’s not ideal, but that’s the reality.
However, the goal of treatment should be to get us back to doing what we love to do, and minimize the effects of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis on our lives. Our doctors also have goals for us. These goals might be different, but they’re all important in getting symptoms and inflammation minimized and living life on our terms again.Continue reading
Setting goals is an important part of managing IBD. But after controlling symptoms: what other goals do patients have? They can be anything from being able to go up and down the stairs, to cooking a meal, to going back to an exercise program.
Treating to target is a concept that helps in goal-setting. But patients might not be using this method with their clinicians. Dr Neilanjan Nandi, Associate Professor of Clinical Medicine and IBD specialist at the University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine and Jacklyn Green, ulcerative colitis patient, writer, and IBDMom, dig deeper into the idea of treat to target from both sides of the equation.Continue reading
When I had surgery to remove my colon (which is called a colectomy) and place an ostomy, I knew exactly what was happening. I knew I would wake up with a loop ileostomy. It was the first step in 2-step j-pouch surgery to treat my ulcerative colitis.
My colon was falling apart, full of inflammation and pseudopolyps (non-cancerous polyps that can occur with IBD). I had a few months to prepare for surgery, including meeting with my surgeon and an enterostomal (ET) nurse. When I woke up with a stoma and an ostomy appliance, it was not a surprise.Continue reading
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects our quality of life. What that means, however, is going to be different for each person. It may depend on many factors including disease severity, access to care, and support structure.
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis such as diarrhea can prevent people from taking part in activities that aren’t near a bathroom. Bleeding can cause anemia, leaving people feeling tired and unable to go about regular activities. Not to mention the effects on mental health, relationships, and finances.
Danielle Gulden, ulcerative patient, ileostomate, and co-founder of Double Baggin’ It and Dr Nana Bernasko, IBD Nurse Practitioner and Assistant Professor of Medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology at Penn State Health, discuss how to manage the effects of IBD on everyday life.Continue reading