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.
One of the biggest hurdles in getting a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is first in understanding that the symptoms aren’t normal. They’re not from a virus or a parasitic infection — they go on for too long for it to be from those causes.
Once people understand that symptoms like ongoing diarrhea and bloody stools are not normal, they need a way to overcome embarrassment and talk their symptoms over with a health care provider. Having an open and honest conversation will help ensure a quicker diagnosis of ulcerative colitis and getting the right treatment.
On this episode, Rasheed Clarke, ulcerative colitis and j-pouch patient and author of Three Tablets Twice Daily and Dr Christina Ha, an IBDologist at the IBD Center at Cedars Sinai, provide support and guidance to patients with IBD symptoms, newly diagnosed patients, and anyone who is looking for a new way to speak with their health care providers about IBD treatments.
How is IBD different in kids than it is in adults? When should kids be transitioned from pediatric to adult care? What’s next for IBD treatments? My guest is Dr Jeffrey Hyams, the head of the Division of Digestive Diseases, Hepatology and Nutrition at Connecticut Children’s, and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine. He provides a historical perspective on the treatment of IBD and is able to highlight how therapies have advanced over the last 30 years. He also gives some ideas about what’s on the horizon for IBD treatments and what gives him hope for the future.
IBD is not a condition that is easy to diagnose or treat. People who live with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis have needs that include guidance on nutrition. Diet is notoriously difficult to study but some research is starting to be done. Dannielle Jascot, MS, CNS, CDN, certified nutritionist and IBD patient talks over the recent results of the DINE-CD study, which compared the Specific Carbohydrate Diet and the Mediterranean Diet.
The patient advocacy space is lacking the voices of men and especially men of color. The result is that the IBD community is not diverse enough to provide the kind of support that they need.
Jordan McConnell, the founder of Crohn’s Veteran, is looking to change the dynamics of the online IBD space. Jordan served in the military and was eventually discharged due to his Crohn’s disease. It was a shock and changed his career plans unexpectedly. His disease journey showed him that he needed to be the change and he developed his podcast and his brand to support men and the larger IBD community.
In December 2019 I went to Advances in IBD, which is a medical meeting that’s focused entirely on Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The understanding that IBD is more than a “bathroom disease” has finally hit home, and attendees (which include healthcare professionals such as nurses, dietitians, gastroenterologists, GI psychologists, and colorectal surgeons) were educated on a variety of topics. In this episode I provide some of the highlights of the meeting including sessions on diet, medication risks, and pregnancy.
With the turn of every new year, there’s a predictable pattern. People start making their New Year’s Resolutions and plan to begin their new activities (or stop the old ones) at the turn of the year on January 1st. Many of the resolutions center around losing weight, eating better, stopping smoking, or exercising more. However, are these the things that people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are most concerned with? Better health for those that live with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis might include resolutions that go beyond the focus of what healthy people consider at the start of a new year. I have some suggestions for those that live with IBD who are looking to make resolutions for themselves this year.
Caregivers play an important role in the disease journey. For Rebecca Kaplan, whose husband, Dan, lives with Crohn’s disease, caregiving has been a large part of her life at times. When she went looking for support for herself as a caregiver, what she found was a need for more resources. She went on to not only create a support space for caregivers but also to take a leadership role in the inflammatory bowel disease community that benefits everyone who is touched by these diseases.