The ABC’s of Crohn’s Disease & UC: “B”
Here is the second installment of the ABC’s of Crohn’s Disease and UC. Surprisingly, I didn’t find many B’s associated with the disease (aside from some obvious ones). Let me know if you know of any others that should be added to the list!
Bacteria: The whole principal of Crohn’s and UC is based on bacteria in the gut. Normally, there is harmless bacteria in your GI tract. In a healthy person, this harmless bacteria is protected from attack by the immune system. However, in IBD patients, the body mistakenly recognizes the harmless bacteria as invaders. The immune system attacks them, causing cells to travel out of the blood to the intestines and create inflammation.
Barium: Barium sulfate is used in X-rays, other imaging of the GI tract, and other diagnostic procedures. It is administered orally or by enema (UGH).
Biologics: Biologics are the newest class of medications used to treat Crohn’s and UC. Also known as anti-TNF (tumor necrosis factor), these medications are used on patients suffering from moderate-to-severe Crohn’s Disease and UC. Chemically, antibodies attach to TNF and allow the body to destroy the chemical and reduce inflammation. Some common biologic therapies include Remicade (our medication of choice), Humira, and Enbrel.
Biopsy: Crohn’s and UC patients have biopsies performed typically during colonoscopies and endoscopies. The biopsied tissue is taken to pathology to determine the presence of disease. It’s common for biopsies to be taken to ensure that there is no presence of cancer cells in the gut.
Blockage: A Crohnie’s worst nightmare. A blockage (bowel obstruction) occurs when there is a stricture in the diseased area of the intestines that becomes so narrow nothing can pass through. When my husband had a blockage, he had a NG tube placed in his nose and down his throat into his stomach to drain out the contents and alleviate the blockage short-term. A month later, he had surgery to remove the stricture and create a wide opening to prevent future blockages.
Bleeding: This is a common symptom of Crohn’s or UC- bleeding in your stool or from your rectum.
Bowel: An obvious one, the bowel is the part of the body typically affected by Crohn’s and UC (although in rare cases it can develop elsewhere).
Butt: I don’t think I need an explanation for this one, just that my husband requested its presence on the list.