Archive for December, 2012

The ABC’s of Crohn’s & UC: “J” & “K”

It’s been a few weeks since I did an installation in my ABC’s of Crohn’s & UC series. With other topics arising and Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week occurring, it’s fallen off my radar. So here is the next installation, and it will be a short one: J and K.

Jejunoileitis: One of the types of Crohn’s Disease. Jejunoileitis affects the jejunum (see below). Symptoms include cramps after meals, fistulas, diarrhea, and abdominal pain. Kind of sounds like all the other types of Crohn’s.

Jejunum: The upper half of the small intestines.

J-Pouch: One name for an ileo-anal pouch. The J-Pouch is an internal reservoir where the rectum would be. A J-Pouch is traditionally done through a multi-part surgery. The first surgery involves the removal of the large intestines and rectum and the fashioning of the pouch. At the end of the first surgery, the patient is given a temporary ileostomy in order to give the pouch time to heal. After a period of time (typically 6-12 weeks), a second surgery is performed known as the “take down” in which the ileostomy is reversed.


Kidney Stones: One of the most common kidney complications in Crohn’s patients. According to CCFA, kidney stones are common in patients who has Crohn’s in the small intestines because of fat malabsorption. You are at a higher risk for kidney stones if you’ve had a number of bowel resections because you are more prone to dehydration. Symptoms of kidney stones include sharp pain (particularly in your lower back), nausea, vomiting, and blood in the urine. Treatment calls for an increased fluid intake and a diet that is rich in juices and vegetables. If you are unable to pass the kidney stones on your own, you may have to have them removed which is through a simple procedure.

Kock Pouch: A Kock Pouch is an internal pouch formed by the terminal ileum after a colectomy. The pouch has a large volume so that feces can be stored temporarily without the need for a stoma bag. A Kock Pouch may be created if the patient cannot have an ileo-anal pouch or who develop incontinence after an ileo-anal pouch.

December 9, 2012 at 5:04 pm 3 comments

Carrie Johnson: three time Olympian & Crohn’s patient

I was approached earlier this week by Crohn’s & Me to see if I was interested in interviewing any national advocates for Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week. I jumped at the opportunity. But never in my wildest dreams did I think I would be interviewing three-time Olympic sprint kayaker Carrie Johnson.

I wrote briefly about Carrie prior to the Olympics. However, there is so much more to her story that I learned after talking with her for 30 minutes. So here is Carrie’s Crohn’s story, as told to me.


December 8, 2012 at 10:38 am 1 comment

Purple Challenge Day 7 Photos!

Today is the final day of Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week and the last day of the Purple Challenge.

The sheer number of people who participated in our Purple Challenge is unbelievable and shows how many folks IBD impacts internationally.

That being said, thank you to everyone who participated in the challenge by tweeting and/or Facebooking photos!

However, just because the challenge ends tonight doesn’t mean you should stop wearing purple to raise awareness about Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Here are some pictures from Day 7!

I'm rocking purple jeans for Day 7

I’m rocking purple jeans for Day 7


December 7, 2012 at 10:34 am Leave a comment

IBD & Genes: A confusing relationship

In a recent post about IBD myths, I talked about how while there is some genetic relationship with IBD, there is no one gene that can be tied to the diseases. Today’s post is about how wrong I was about that!

I did a little digging around about genes associated with IBD and found some pretty interesting information. So here is my attempt to digest the extremely scientific information into something concise and understandable (and please forgive me if I get some of it wrong or if my explanation is confusing!).

Last month, researchers at the National Institutes of Health discovered 71 new genes associated with bowel diseases. That brings the number of genes associated with IBD up to 163. That is a whole lot of genes associated with these diseases- way more than I imagined there would be.

It’s important to note that while these genes are associated with IBD, it does not mean that if you have one of these genes, you will develop the disease. What it means is that you have an increased risk of developing Crohn’s or UC.

For this study, DNA samples were taken from people with Crohn’s Disease (20,076), Ulcerative Colitis (15,307), and people without either disease (25,445) from 15 countries. These samples were analyzed and showed the 71 genes that are associated with Crohn’s and UC.

Of the 163 genes now associated with IBD, 110 are associated with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Thirty genes are specific to Crohn’s Disease and 23 are specific to Ulcerative Colitis.


December 6, 2012 at 9:15 pm 4 comments

Purple Challenge Day 6 Photos!

Day 6 of the Purple Challenge is almost over and again, I’m amazed at all the photos we’ve been getting for the challenge.Here are some of them!

My skirt today

My skirt today


December 6, 2012 at 7:11 pm Leave a comment

Purple Challenge Day 5 Photos!

Day 5 of the challenge and we still have a whole lot of photos coming in (including a few from last night but I fell asleep to early to put them on the Day 4 post). I am so appreciative of everyone’s participation- it really shows how many people are touched by inflammatory bowel diseases!


December 5, 2012 at 11:52 am 3 comments

Purple Challenge Day 4 Photos!

On the East Coast today it’s a bit grey and dreary but that isn’t stopping folks from sending in their #PurpleChallenge photos! Keep them coming all week long.

I'm rocking purple in my shirt today

I’m rocking purple in my shirt today


December 4, 2012 at 10:25 am Leave a comment

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