Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week

crohn's and ulcerative colitis awareness week

 

December 1st through the 7th is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week this year, and we want to stand up in solidarity with all those who are living with a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). At 180 Medical, we feel it is important to not only support those living with Crohn’s disease and/or ulcerative colitis as well as those who have recovered thanks to ostomy surgery and now live with a colostomy or ileostomy.

We agree with what the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation says about IBD and those who are impacted by it: “the effects of these diseases are largely invisible [to others], which is why we need to make #IBDvisible.”

Read on to find out more about these two forms of IBD, common symptoms, and ways you can help raise awareness.

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory disease that can affect any part of the body’s gastrointestinal tract.

crohn's and colitis symptomsSymptoms can include:

  • Frequent or chronic diarrhea
  • Blood or mucus in stool
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bleeding from the rectum
  • Weight loss that can’t be easily explained
  • Fatigue
  • Reduced appetite

The precise cause of Crohn’s is currently unknown, although it’s not contagious. It may be related to genetics or a virus that triggers an immune response to inflammation.

Treatment options can include medications such as steroids or immunomodulators. Doctors usually suggest medications as the first option after diet or lifestyle changes.

However, when the condition worsens or the symptoms are unbearable, surgery may be the next option.

Ulcerative Colitis

While Crohn’s can affect any part of the GI tract, colitis’s symptoms are restricted to the colon and the rectum, and the symptoms are typically continuous versus the off and on again symptoms of Crohn’s.

Symptoms can include:

  • Frequent or chronic diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody stool
  • Fever
  • Unexplained weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Sudden feeling that you need to void your bowels
  • Low vitamin D and other vitamin/mineral deficiencies

The suspected causes are the same as Crohn’s, although ulcerative colitis is considered an immune system overreaction.

crohn's colitis medication treatmentTreatment options include medications or surgery, which typically requires full removal of the colon and rectum.

It will depend entirely from person to person on what the best option for treatment will be, and you’ll want to talk with your doctor to be sure you have a good idea of all of the possible options for treatment.

Life with IBD

Living with Crohn’s and/or colitis is often hard on those it affects. IBD can keep you fatigued and rundown. It may also feel embarrassing to discuss what you’re going through.

The good news is that there are options for treatment out there. The sooner you schedule an appointment with your doctor, the sooner you can feel better.

For more information about Crohn’s Disease or Colitis, visit the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.

If you have had an ostomy surgery, 180 Medical is here to help. Our Ostomy Specialists are glad to work with you to find the best supplies for your needs!

Call Toll-Free (877) 688-2729

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About the Author
Jessica is the Marketing Specialist at 180 Medical and has been a part of the 180 family for over 9 years. In her downtime, she enjoys creative writing, making art, seeing new places, and spending time with her loved ones.