Posts filed under ‘CCFA Awareness Week’

Not Just a Pooping Disease: 10 Things You Didn’t Know About Inflammatory Bowel Disease

I recently had the privilege of working on a piece for the Huffington Post with Stephanie from The Stolen Colon for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Awareness Week. The piece posted today and I wanted to share a snippet from it with you:

These diseases have been known primarily as “pooping diseases” because many patients frequent the bathroom as a result of the cramping and abdominal pain caused by IBD. However, there are many aspects of the disease that are far worse than spending time in the bathroom.

Here are 10 things you didn’t know about IBD:

IBD patients often take many medications with powerful side effects.
Patients with IBD often depend on medication to control the inflammation and pain caused by their disease. Medications commonly used include antibiotics, anti-inflammatories, steroids and immunosuppressants.

While beneficial, these medications can cause side effects including nausea, vomiting, heartburn, night sweats, insomnia, hyperactivity, high blood pressure and stunted growth in children. Patients on immunosuppressants are at risk of developing lymphoma, tuberculosis, kidney and liver damage, anaphylaxis, seizures, and serious or fatal infections.

IBD causes extraintestinal issues.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can cause issues in other parts of the body, including inflammation of the inner part of the eye, mouth sores, arthritis, osteoporosis, gallstones, kidney stones, skin rashes and ulcerations, blood clots, anemia and several neurological conditions, including seizures, stroke, myopathy, headaches and depression.

IBD can have significant impact on the mental health of patients.
According to Oak Park Behavioral Medicine, about 25 percent of people with IBD will experience depression even when in remission, and that number rises to 60 percent during a flare. Outside of depression, the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America reports that patients with IBD often experience anxiety, denial, dependence, stress and poor self-image.

Having IBD is exorbitantly expensive.
The annual direct cost of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis in the United States is estimated to be $6.1 billion. A recent study showed that the mean annual cost for a patient with Crohn’s was $8,265 and for ulcerative colitis was $5,066. Each patient’s situation differs, but the most common costs of IBD include diagnostic tests, hospitalizations, surgery and medications, some of which can cost as much as $10,000 per dose.

You can view the full piece here.

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December 6, 2013 at 4:51 pm 3 comments

Raising Awareness One Day at a Time

Happy Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week everyone!

Today marks the beginning of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week 2013 and more than ever, I can’t stress the importance of this week for raising awareness and educating others about inflammatory bowel diseases.

Before Dan was diagnosed, I didn’t know much about IBD. In fact I was one of those people who thought IBD and IBS were one in the same (I now know that they are most definitely not).

In the almost seven years since Dan was first diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, I have learned more about these debilitating diseases than I ever imagined I would. I have witnessed the good and the bad- colonoscopies, hospitalizations, surgeries, medications, tens of thousands of dollars in medical bills- you name it, Dan and I have been through it.

I have also been able to raise awareness and educate others who knew nothing about the disease learn about why Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are not just pooping diseases. Through Team Challenge and Take Steps, over the past three years Dan and I raised over $21,000 for research and education of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

But I’ve also had the pleasure of meeting incredible people who are battling these diseases and have become my second inspiration for raising awareness.

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December 1, 2013 at 12:45 pm Leave a comment

Huffington Post: Why I Celebrated Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week

In the excitement of Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week and the #PurpleChallenge, I completely forgot to share with you my exciting news- I wrote another piece on Crohn’s for HuffingtonPost.com!

In case you missed it, in August, I wrote a piece for the Huffington Post on what it’s like to be a caretaker for someone with Crohn’s Disease. After writing that and the great feedback I got from those who read it, I knew I wanted to write another piece sometime soon. After racking my brain I realized my next topic was right in front of me- why I celebrate Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week.

Here’s an excerpt of my post:

Six years ago, I had not heard of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. I lived in a world where I was blissfully unaware of inflammatory bowel diseases, where the debilitating symptoms didn’t impact my life. Then I met my now-husband Dan, and everything changed.

Dan was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease just two weeks after we started dating in 2007. Now, six years later, we have been through the gamut with the disease. He’s been on three different medications, with one of them making it nearly impossible for him to function because of severe fatigue. Now, instead of taking oral medication, Dan receives an IV infusion every six weeks at the doctor’s office. He’s had three different gastroenterologists. He’s been hospitalized for a post-colonoscopy infection and an intestinal blockage. Most recently, he had part of his small intestines removed in order to treat the disease.

Check out the full post here.

December 12, 2012 at 10:27 am 3 comments

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

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

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

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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!

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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

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

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