Posts tagged ‘Depression’
Happy New Year’s Eve everyone!
This past year has been an exciting one for Dan and I, both online and offline. In the past year, Caring for Crohn’s & UC expanded incredibly- while I wrote far fewer posts than last year, the blog received over 19,000 views and gained This year, Caring for Crohn’s & UC exploded beyond my wildest dreams, having over 19,000 views by over 10,000 visitors, and gained 45 WordPress followers, 9 Tumblr followers, 131 Facebook fans and 213 Twitter followers. (Disclaimer: I am a huge analytics nerd, so please forgive me for being so excited over these numbers :-)) Thank you all SO much for your continued readership and support- while I haven’t kept up with posting as frequently as I want to, I am so happy that the content I wrote over the past two years has reached so many of you. It’s all in the name of raising awareness and educating others about inflammatory bowel diseases.
Enough about the numbers- here are some of my 2013 highlights.
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.
A recent study published in the January issue of Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology shows a link between depressive symptoms and the incidence of Crohn’s disease and UC. The following information was taken from a write up on MedicalXPress.com:
Researchers from Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School collected data from 152,461 women who participated in either the Nurses’ Health Study I or II. From the data collected, a total of 170 cases of Crohn’s and 203 cases of UC were reported from this population.
“We observed that depressive symptoms are associated with a two-fold increase in risk of CD but not UC. Although both recent (within four years) and remote (baseline) assessments of depression appear to influence disease risk, the association with recent depressive symptoms appeared more prominent,” the authors write. “Our findings support the potential importance of a biopsychosocial model in the pathogenesis of CD and suggest the need for further studies on the effect of depression and stress on immune function and regulation.”
The researchers found that women with depressive symptoms within the past four years, were more than two times more likely to be diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. However, no similar link between depressive symptoms and increased risk of UC was identified.
This is an extremely interesting development. As we all know, depression and IBD can go hand-in-hand due to the physical and mental toll the diseases take on your body. However, now there is scientific evidence that actually shows that psychological factors can contribute to developing Crohn’s disease.
You can read the full study here.
If you have IBD, you know how taxing it can be, not only physically but also emotionally. It’s no surprise given the symptoms IBDers live with on a daily basis- painful cramps, diarrhea, weight loss, loss of appetite, and nausea. Living with these can wear you down and eventually, you might find that you have fallen into a bout of depression.
According to the World Federation for Mental Health,
“Quite often, physical and mental health disorders go hand in hand. Research shows that persons with severe or chronic physical illnesses often have a co-existing mental health problem.”