It’s been said that 1 in every 150 people in Canada has a form of IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease.)
Since I was about 7 or 8 years old I have dealt with terrible stomach problems being continuously told it was just Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Over 10 Years later it turned out those stomach problems were Crohn’s Disease. A lot of people get IBD ( Inflammatory Bowel Disease ) confused IBS ( Irritable Bowel Syndrome ) and it really is a tricky thing to decipher. Did you know that you can actually be living with both at the same time (like me) but, YES there is a difference?
Crohns Disease is an Inflammatory Bowel Disease that causes your immune system to attack your digestive track way more than its suppose to! You see, your immune system is supposed to do that as far as I’m aware, that’s why we get stomach aches if we eat something bad… our bodies immune systems are telling us something is wrong & fighting off the bad bacteria. The difference when you have IBD is that your body thinks EVERYTHING is bad and needs to be fought off. Even water can be hard to keep in your system.
There are three different classifications to IBD (one of which is even new to me.)
Crohns’ Disease: This strand of the disease can affect any part of your GI tract from your Mouth to your Anus but, is most commonly found in the small intestine. Ulcerative Colitis: Remains in the large intestine (Colon) and Rectum. Indeterminate Colitis: Is the diagnosis when your IBD is being caused by both strands of the disease but it is unclear as to what causes your symptoms and flare-ups more. IBD can be diagnosed a few different ways. Some Indications for further testing are Blood tests to test for anemia and infection, and a stool test. Procedures that can help diagnose this disease are Endoscopy / colonoscopy, CT Scans, MRI’s, Capsule & Double Balloon Endoscopies, as well as small bowel imaging. There is no known cause as to what triggers the condition So, basically the inflammation is often, & uncontrollable leaving it very hard for someone to maintain an average day-to-day lifestyle. This inflammation of the gut can lead to a multitude of other lifestyle changes and complications. Symptoms That patients experience aren’t just in their gut either. This disease takes a huge mental toll on someone as well.
|Physical Symptoms||Mental Symptoms|
Nausea, Vomiting, Abdominal Cramping, Diarrhea, Mucous in the Stool Bloating, Bloody Stools, Mouth Sores, Reduced Appetite, Weight Loss, Fever, Joint & Muscle Pain, Skin Nodules, Headaches, Eye Strains, Painful Bowel Movements, Persistent changes in Bowel Forms, Swollen Gums, Urgent need to Pass Movement, Sensation of Incomplete Bowel Movement, Constipation Leading to Obstruction, Night sweats, Loss of Normal Menstrual Cycle in a few Women (Me 😦 ) Delay of Growth and Development in Children, Arthritis & other Bone Complications
Anxiety, Depression, Structural Brain changes affecting Motility, Peripheral Neuropathy, Loss of Interest in Activities, Irritability & Belligerence toward others, feelings of Helplessness, Hopelessness, Uselessness, Worthlessness, Difficulty Sleeping and Staying Asleep, Feels Guilty frequently.
Once you’re diagnosed with Crohn’s disease there is no going back. This is a condition you will live with the rest of your life and have to learn to manage. There are many support groups which I have recently been getting involved in. The lucky people (in my opinion) are able to manage and control their disease by a strict diet & exercise, therapy and & biofeedback However the other ways you can manage this is by taking pills. Some pills that work for different people are Anti – Inflammatories, Immunosuppressant, and Antibiotics. In rare cases sometimes removal of the digestive tract is needed. That is why it is important to maintain your health at all times!
So in conclusion to that IBS ( Irritable Bowel Syndrome ) or “Spastic Colon” is a functional Gastrointestinal disorder that does not involve any inflammation, doesn’t show any clinical results and doesn’t lead to ulcers and further damage. It is not just a “psychological condition” like some of the more uneducated population tend to believe but there isn’t a known cause or proven diagnosis factors. Someone who is living with IBD ( Inflammatory Bowel Disease) is living with an everyday struggle and it took an incomparable amount of strength to even get them to the point of crossing paths with you at that very moment.
An Article I fell in love with during the process of my diagnosis was “The Spoon Theory.” While it isn’t written by someone with Crohn’s disease it is written by someone with another Chronically Debilitating Disease. It really helps explain from a survivors point of view what it is like living every day, and how it alters your life.
IBD is definitely serious and should be taken care of before it worsens. For any questions or concerns in regards to IBD & IBS you can email me at firstname.lastname@example.org