Category Archives: Coronavirus

About IBD - Pre-print Report_ COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy in IBD Patients

Pre-print Report: COVID-19 Vaccine Efficacy in IBD Patients

People who live with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have questions regarding COVID-19 vaccination and how it may be impacted by their disease or their medications. IBDologists recommend that people who live with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis receive a vaccination for COVID-19. Check with your physicians on your individual circumstances but, in general, the advice is that the vaccines are safe and effective for people with IBD, and they are recommended.

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About IBD - Episode 90 - Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

About IBD Podcast Episode 90 – Fully Vaccinated Against COVID-19

Telling your Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis story is powerful. It can be freeing but it can also come with some unexpected side effects.

Welcome back Rosanne Mottola, who originally intended to talk over receiving her second dose of the Pfizer BioNtech COVID-19 vaccine. She told her ulcerative colitis story and about receiving her first dose on Episode 87, “COVID-19 Vaccination With UC Patient Rosanne Mottola.” She gives her experience on her second dose, how it affected her, and what her family’s plans are now that she’s vaccinated.

Additionally, Rosanne had another part of her journey that she wanted to share. She listened to her first About IBD episode (something a lot of guests don’t actually do), as did her family. Reflecting on her ulcerative colitis journey brought things back in a fresh way. She tells me how revisiting some parts of her life in this way was both troubling and healing. It’s an important part of the disease journey, especially for those who tell their story publicly, that doesn’t often get discussed.

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Climbing the Steps to Pandemic Recovery

I remember looking down at my abdomen shortly after having the first of two surgeries to complete the j-pouch procedure for treating ulcerative colitis. It was open surgery, so I had a line of staples closing the surgical site that was about 8 inches long. I spent most of those first weeks with a pillow clutched against my abdomen because it felt like my guts were going to fall out. I couldn’t imagine how I would ever complete a simple sit-up again.

Yet, I did recover. I can do the things that seemed beyond reach in those first days and weeks, but it didn’t happen right away or without effort. As the country becomes vaccinated against COVID-19 and we consider next steps, I am reminded of that feeling of having no idea how I would ever be whole again. Restarting a face-to-face life is off in the distance: hazy to the point of being unrecognizable. I’m struck by the similarities between resuming life after surgery and resuming life after a pandemic. They happen slowly, with the individual steps being so small they are almost imperceptible.

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About IBD Podcast Episode 88 - Leaning Into Pleasure With Passion by Kait - About IBD

About IBD Episode 88 – Leaning Into Pleasure With Passion by Kait

During times of stress, our personal relationships may suffer. In the pandemic, we are finding ourselves spending a lot of time with those in our households, and for couples, that can start to take a toll. Certified sex educator Kait Scalisi, founder of Passion By Kait, shares her knowledge and experience as a neuroscientist, public health professional, and couples’ counselor to help us understand how to better manage our relationships during the pandemic and beyond.

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About IBD - Understanding IBD During COVID-19

Crohn’s & Colitis Congress: Understanding IBD During COVID-19

Crohn’s & Colitis Congress is a meeting focused on inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that’s organized by the American Gastroenterological Association and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. The meeting is geared towards healthcare providers who want to learn more about treating patients who live with IBD.

Ryan Ungaro, MS, MD, Assistant Professor of Medicine (Gastroenterology) at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, gave a presentation at Crohn’s & Colitis Congress entitled “Understanding IBD-Related Care in the Era of COVID-19.”

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About IBD Podcast Episode 87 - COVID-19 Vaccination With UC Patient Rosanne Mottola Final - About IBD

About IBD Podcast Episode 87 – COVID-19 Vaccination With UC Patient Rosanne Mottola

People with IBD and other chronic conditions have questions about receiving the COVID-19 vaccination. Rosanne Mottola works at a hospital and was therefore eligible to receive a vaccination through her employer. Rosanne gives her experiences and takeaways as a “mild to moderate” ulcerative colitis patient and how she made the decision to receive the SARS-CoV-2 vaccine. She gives some great advice about how the internet may skew our perception of what IBD life is like, and because of her experiences and background, she’s a wonderful resource for people living with IBD.

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5 Things I Want You to Know About the COVID-19 Vaccines

People who live with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have had many questions regarding the COVID-19 pandemic and the vaccine rollout is no different. The good news is that prominent IBD physicians are advocating for people who live with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis to get vaccinated against SARS-CoV-2 (the virus which causes COVID-19). As healthcare professionals, many of them have already received a vaccine themselves.

After speaking with Dr David Rubin, highly respected IBDologist, fierce advocate for patients, and consummate educator who graciously responds to my emails, on About IBD, I became better aware of the concerns of the IBD community in regards to vaccination. I’ve spent the better part of the last month working towards answering questions and reading research.

To that end, I have come up with 5 nuggets of information that address some of the chief concerns about COVID-19 vaccinations in people who live with IBD.

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About IBD Podcast Episode 85 - Dr David Rubin Answers COVID-19 Vaccine Questions

About IBD Podcast Episode 85 – Dr David Rubin Answers COVID-19 Vaccine Questions

From the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have had many questions. Now that vaccines against the virus are becoming available, people living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis need even more information in order to make decisions. I asked Dr David Rubin, Chief of the Section of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition and the Co-Director of the Digestive Diseases Center at The University of Chicago Medicine to answer some of these initial questions about the first COVID-19 vaccines (manufactured by Pfizer and Moderna). Topics discussed on this episode include:

  • How vaccines work
  • How mRNA works
  • How IBD medications affect the immune system
  • IBD medications and their potential effect on COVID-19 vaccination
  • When we’ll have more information about COVID-19 vaccines and IBD
  • Why side effects with vaccines are expected and what they mean
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About IBD Podcast Episode 78 - Sending Chronically Ill Kids to School, Featuring Dr Brad Jerson

About IBD Podcast Episode 78 – Sending Chronically Ill Kids to School, Featuring Dr Brad Jerson

Kids with chronic illness face special issues when going back to school because they’re at risk of their accommodations becoming eroded. In particular, children who live with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis might be in danger of not being granted appropriate bathroom access. I speak with Dr Brad Jerson, a Pediatric Psychologist in the Division of Digestive Diseases, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Connecticut Children’s and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. We discuss the worrying behaviors that parents should watch out for in their kids and how we can help kids who feel scared to go back to school.

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About IBD Podcast Episode 77 - Back to School In the Pandemic With Dr Brad Jerson

About IBD Podcast Episode 77 – Back to School in a Pandemic With Dr Brad Jerson

Back to school will be quite different for families across the United States and the world this year. There aren’t many answers to be had to our questions, yet we must make decisions with the best information that we have at this time. I speak with Dr Brad Jerson, a Pediatric Psychologist in the Division of Digestive Diseases, Hepatology, and Nutrition at Connecticut Children’s and an Assistant Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine about how we can prepare our kids, and ourselves, for the school year. We discuss the behaviors we can model for our children, how we can talk to young kids about mask wearing, and how to engage kids of all ages in conversation about their fears and anxieties during this time. 


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