ABC’s of Crohn’s Disease & UC: “C”
Sorry for the lapse in posting- we hit Jewish holiday season and then I got swamped at work. But I am back with the next in my ABC series- the letter C! I am excited to do this one because I came up with a lot of things that go with the letter and the two diseases.
Cancer: Having IBD increases your risk of getting colon or colorectal cancer later in life.
CCFA:A non-profit organization dedicated to finding a cure for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Check them out at www.ccfa.org.
C. Diff: A nasty stomach bug. Clostridium difficile is a bacteria that causes the inflammation of the colon. People with other illnesses (read: IBD) or have prolonged use of antibiotics are at greater risk of getting C.diff. It is transmitted through feces- if someone touches an item or surface with contaminated feces and then touch their mouth or mucous membranes (not sure why they would do that though). Symptoms of C.diff are watery diarrhea, fever, loss of appetite, nausea, abdominal pain/tenderness. Sounds a lot like the symptoms of Crohn’s and UC. Note: doctors and nurses can spread C.diff to patients or contaminate surfaces through hand contact.
Chronic: Everything with IBD is chronic. It is considered a chronic illness. Patients are often in chronic stomach pain. Caretakers are chronically worried. And all those involved are chronically annoyed.
Cimzia: Another biologic medication used to treat Crohn’s Disease. It is given through injection.
Colitis: Colitis generally refers to the inflammation of the large intestines. It can be acute (like when you have a stomach bug or other stomach illness) or chronic as with UC.
Colon: A pretty obvious one- the colon is where all these fund diseases occur. The colon is the last part of the digestive system and made up of four parts: the ascending colon, the transverse colon, the descending colon, and the sigmoid colon.
Colonoscopy: Every IBD-ers favorite procedure. It’s when you get a scope up the rear end so the doctor can look at the interior lining of your intestines to see how your disease is progressing.
Colostomy: A colostomy occurs when an IBD patient has surgery to remove part of the intestines and then the healthy end of the intestines creates a stoma leading to the outside of the stomach. A pouch is attached to the stoma to collect feces. This procedure can be either temporary or permanent.
Corticosteroids: These are used to treat symptoms of moderate to severe Crohn’s Disease. Most patients will be on steroids at some point while battling the disease. Severe symptoms may need to be treated with IV steroids in the hospital. Commonly used corticosteroids include prednisone, hydrocortisone, and Entocort.
Cramps: Pretty sure this one is self explanatory.
C-Reactive Protein: Doctors check levels of this in blood tests to gauge the degree of inflammation in the intestines.
Dr. Burrill Bernard Crohn: One of the first doctors to first describe Crohn’s Disease. Along with two colleagues from Mount Sinai Medical Center in NYC, Dr. Crohn published a paper in 1932 describing an unknown condition documenting 14 cases of what they called Terminal Ileitis. The name was then changed to regional ileitis before it was changed to Crohn’s Disease (after the doctor).
CT Scan: Stands for computerized tomography scan. IBD patients may have a CT Scan instead of a colonoscopy to check out how things are doing in the bowel. The CT Scan looks at the entire bowel and some surrounding tissue. It allows the doctor to see the location and extent of your disease and to check for complications like blockages, abscesses, or fistulas. It’s non invasive (YAY) but does emit more radiation than traditional x-rays (BOO). One note: when Dan has had these, he had to do arrive early and drive three bottles of barium beforehand. That part stinks because it’s a lot of liquid for someone with a stomach disease to ingest in a short period of time. However, it is MUCH easier than colonoscopy prep.