We can hold two truths: Crohn’s disease is funny. It is also not funny. I speak with Matt Nagin, who has many talents, but we focus on his work as a comedian and actor living with Crohn’s disease. Our discussion focuses on how people need laughter and comedy in their lives. Yet, living with an illness like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), it can be challenging to find those comedic moments. Especially when most people don’t know what IBD is, and even among those who do, they kind of don’t want to hear about it sometimes. Get tips from Matt on how to form a sense of humor about illness, keep people from getting burned out on you, and think outside the box when it comes to symptoms.Continue reading
As anyone who lives with an inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and indeterminate colitis, collectively called IBD) knows: the digestive problems only tell part of the story.
Patients with IBD may feel isolated or lonely. It’s not common to know another person who lives with the disease when diagnosed. Plus, the signs and symptoms can keep people at home, where it’s comfortable and easier to care for oneself, and away from work, school, and socializing.
It’s rather a perfect storm for having problems crop up with mental health.Continue reading
My guest is Stephanie Brenner of Chronic Illness Psychotherapy. Stephanie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker who has experience in working with clients with chronic illnesses. She has also taken on a variety of roles in GI space, including previously serving on both the advisory team for the Pediatric Crohn’s Guidebook and the recruitment committee for the Rome Foundation’s GastroPsych organization.
Stephanie lives with Crohn’s disease and a permanent ileostomy and is also a cancer survivor. I asked her to help us better understand PTSD and PTS as they relate to having a chronic illness like IBD. She defines PTSD and why it can happen with IBD, what some of the signs and symptoms might look like, and what patients can do to address their mental healthContinue reading
As an assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Gastroenterology at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine, and the Director of Translational Studies for the Crohn’s and Colitis Center, Dr. Oriana Damas sheds light on the misconception that IBD only affects certain ethnicities. Her extensive research explores the connection between of environment and genetics in the development of IBD, with a special focus on its impact on immigrants from Latin America. Dr. Damas shares insights into the challenges of studying the role of diet in IBD, revealing key findings from her research and explaining how her work is reshaping our understanding of these diseasesContinue reading
What do all the new oral drugs available for treating IBD have to do with military service? Being diagnosed with IBD might mean leaving the military for some service members. Part of the reason is that it’s not possible to be deployed while receiving a drug that’s an injection or an infusion. But when a medication works well and happens to be in pill form: that’s a game-changer. Dr Anish Patel, the Medical Director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center at Brooke Army Medical Center gives an update on how IBD is treated in the military, what he sees on the horizon for IBD, and his best advice for every patient living with a chronic illness.Continue reading
Being diagnosed with a chronic condition is a major adjustment. Digestive conditions like IBD (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) wind up affecting every part of our lives. Learning to accept the ways in which the disease affects life can be helpful. But it’s important to make the distinction between acceptance and complacency. Maalvika Bhuvansunder, a young adult patient living with Crohn’s disease, uses her experiences to help bring the concept of acceptance into focus for other people who are living with a chronic condition.Continue reading
Menopause is a topic that’s not well understood in general and there’s even less information when it comes to menopause and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis). October is World Menopause Awareness Month. World Menopause Day is on October 18th every year. The purpose of the day is to raise awareness of menopause and the support options available for improving health and well being. Learn more about how IBD may affect perimenopause and menopause, as well as the reverse.Continue reading
Fecal microbiota transplant (FMT) is pretty much what it sounds like: taking stool (poop) from one person and putting it into another person’s colon. It is an idea that has been under study for use in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), and ulcerative colitis especially, for many years.Continue reading
A search of my computer shows that I’ve written on the topic of diarrhea several times already. It’s a recurring theme every few years, usually after a news event.
The latest circumstance, as I write this, is an incident that occurred on a flight between Atlanta and Barcelona in early September 2023. Reportedly, a passenger had diarrhea that was concerning enough to be considered a biohazard. According to CNN and other sources, the flight turned around after a few hours and went back to Atlanta. (CNN)Continue reading
A few days ago, I was talking to an IBD friend and I said how weird it was for me to consider traveling.
“It feels like something other people do,” I said. “It’s not something that I get to do.”
It’s a mindset I’ve needed to overcome because traveling when I was younger and my ulcerative colitis was at its worst was a nightmare. Now I’ve had surgery to create a j-pouch and my disease is much better controlled.
There’s no reason I can’t go all the places and do all the things!
I still have to do some problem solving, though, so I thought I’d share some of the products I’ve found that made my life easier while bouncing around cities in the UK or heading up to Maine for a camping trip.Continue reading