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.
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 health
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 diseases
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.
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.
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.
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)
Diet does matter in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Not only in how it affects the digestive system, but also in overall health. Adults with IBD have greater incidences of heart disease, lung disease, cancer, diabetes, arthritis, kidney disease, liver disease, and ulcers than do people without IBD. (Xu, 2018.)
For those reasons and more: thinking about diet and how it affects all these other body systems, as well as the IBD, is important.
Pregnancy while living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) feels scary. But thanks to the groundbreaking Pregnancy Inflammatory bowel disease And Neonatal Outcomes (PIANO) study, there is now so much more data and information to help moms and their doctors make decisions. Dr Mahadevan began the PIANO registry in 2007, which followed women and their babies through pregnancy and after. What was learned from this registry was how IBD medications, and especially biologics, affected pregnancy, birth, and infants. Learn how Dr Mahadevan has grown PIANO over the years, the most important findings so far, and how pregnant women can join the study and help the next generation of moms with IBD and their babies.
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