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To manage Crohn’s disease, it’s important to assemble a group of essential items that help with symptoms of stomach cramps, indigestion, and frequent diarrhea. On Amazon, you can find thousands of vitamins, personal care items, and informational resources that aid people with Inflammatory BowelDisease (IBD). Whether you’re looking for a good ice pack for hemorrhoids or a travel bidet for Crohn’s flare-ups, you’ll find these items amazingly helpful.
If you’re taking plenty of extra vitamin B12 as part of your Crohn’s disease survival plan, then great! In addition to preventing vitamin B12 deficiency, your IBD prevention and management plan should include some of the following indispensable health tools.
Washmate Portable Bidet in a Bottle (300 ml)
Keep yourself clean at work, while out to eat, or on-the-go. What makes this product especially helpful is the small packaging- you can discreetly slip this into your purse or laptop bag without attracting attention on the way to the bathroom. This is a must for all people who suffer from chronic Crohn’s disease. Order on Amazon
What customers say about this:” It fits comfortably in one hand, and it holds more than enough water to clean you up very well… it makes washing up at the commode SO EASY, especially if your abdominal mobility is jeopardized. This is super helpful!”
Drip Drop Hydration 4 Powder Packs
Dehydration is one of the most debilitating ailments that result from GI illnesses that cause frequent episodes of diarrhea and vomiting. These hydration powder packets are easy to use, taste great, and are safe for adults and children alike. Order on Amazon
What customers said about this:“My children never would tolerate Pedialyte but they seem to like the taste of Drip Drop (it tastes like lemonade)”
Florastor Maximum Strength 250 Mg Capsules
Maintain a healthy balance of intestinal flora by taking these essential probiotic supplements. This is useful for sustaining digestive health and preventing gastrointestinal damage associated with chronic diarrhea, ulcers, and acid reflux from GERD or Crohn’s disease. Order on Amazon
What customers said about this: “Out of desperation I began trying probiotics. Within just a few days my heartburn was completely gone. I’ve been taking Florastor daily for almost a year now, and feel great.”
BodySport Ring Cushion
Give yourself a comfortable seat when your bottom really hurts. This pillow for your behind conforms easily, is washable, and will fit in most car seats or chairs. People like this because of its discreet design. This is great for relieving pain from hemorrhoids, coccyx injuries, colitis, or Crohn’s flare-ups. Order on Amazon
What customers said about this: “The red rubber and clear vinyl donuts scream ‘Hey everyone, I’m having trouble with my bottom.’ The BodySport Products Donut Cushion is by the most comfortable, durable and discreet.”
Do you suffer from Crohn’s? What helpful tools would you add to this IBD survival kit?
Do you have any questions or suggestions? Please leave your comments below.
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If you suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD), then you probably won’t appreciate extravagant (albeit well-meaning) gifts like World’s Largest Cheese Ball, Seven-Spice fruitcake, or a subscription to the Beer of the Month club. It’s hard for non-IBD sufferers to know what kind of gift to get for somebody with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Make it easier on them- print out this handy list, and avoid unnecessarily awkward gift-giving scenarios.
Who wouldn’t appreciate this lovely, aesthetically appealing gift of tea? Drop a tea bud into a pot of hot water, and watch as it slowly “blossoms” into a breathtaking underwater bouquet. Choose from an assortment of organic black, white, green or oolong teas.
Part of coping with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis means always being prepared for bathroom emergencies, and these flushable bathroom wipes are the best thing since sliced bread! This is a great stocking-stuffer for anybody with IBD.
Let’s face it- you can’t always count on hand soap. And while you’re ready to negotiate on comfort and convenience at rest stops, you’re not about to invite extra bouts of diarrhea from fecal contamination. These soap sheets from Travelon are amazing- they’re compact, they last forever, they dissolve easily with very little water, and one small pack contains 50 sheets! Also available- body wash, shampoo, conditioner, shaving lotion, and laundry soap.
Take your bathroom supplies with you without looking conspicuous. This leather toiletry bag lets you bring your basic bathroom necessities like flushable wipes and Travelon soap sheets without raising any eyebrows.
If you spend an inordinate amount of time in bed, then you’ll appreciate having a compact refrigerator for storing things like iced tea, water, meds, or a soothing snack. This cooler is great for people who live on a second floor, and don’t have the ability…or energy to climb up and down stairs. Or, keep this in your car for emergency trips to the hospital.
Uncle John has been entertaining restroom readers for 25 years, and it’s easy to see why. Each tome is chock full of miscellaneous bits of interesting stories, anecdotes, facts, trivia games, and mini biographies. It’s like having a compact library, right where you need it most. You’ll probably never get through the whole book, but if you do, there are dozens of Uncle John’s Bathroom Readers to choose from, including one for kids!
Not sure what to cook that won’t upset your tummy? Take the blah out of your staple dinner routine by following some of the innovatively healthy recipes in the Creative
Colitis Cookbook for people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).
Vitamin B12 deficiency is linked with so many types of autoimmune disease; it’s almost like the game “Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon.” Guess what vitamin B12, IBS, cardiovascular disease, and many kinds ofchronic disease have in common…
B12 deficiency- why worry?
Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble nutrient, one of many B vitamins, that is crucial for optimum health. If you don’t get enough vitamin B12 from meat, chicken, fish, and eggs, from B12 shots, then you could suffer severe vitamin B12 deficiency, which includes symptoms such as short-term memory loss, tingling in hands and feet, chronic fatigue syndrome, and depression. People who are at risk of developing vitamin B12 deficiency are vegans, patients of gastric bypass surgery, diabetes sufferers, individuals on heartburn medicine, and anybody with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) or Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). Vitamin B12 deficiency is also linked with many autoimmune diseases.
Here are 12 illnesses that are“6 degrees” away from vitamin B12 deficiency:
1) Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a digestive disease that includes illnesses such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is one of many IBD symptoms, such as chronic diarrhea, stomachcramping, nausea, heartburn, and constipation. IBD can cause severe damage to the intestines, including the colon. People with inflammatory bowel disease have difficulty digesting vitamins and minerals from food, which is why they must take regular vitamin supplements. Because their illness occurs in the digestive system, many IBD patients take vitamin B12 shots in order to avoid B12 deficiency, as vitamin B12 pills are ineffective.
Celiacs disease is an autoimmune disease that attacks the digestive system with the consumption of gluten. Celiac disease symptoms include indigestion, diarrhea, malnourishment, and nausea. Gluten intolerance symptoms occur whenever a celiac disease patient consumes a product containing gluten, a protein that occurs in wheat, rye, and barley. Because of their difficulty digesting vitamins, celiac disease sufferers should supplement regularly with non-oral forms of vitamin B12.
Auto [fibromyalgia symptoms] [symptoms of fibromyalgia]
Fibromyalgia symptoms strike 1 in 50 Americans. Many people don’t realize that fibromyalgia is an autoimmune disease. Symptoms of fibromyalgia include chronic pain, fatigue, depression, insomnia, and “fibro fog” (disorientation). Many people who suffer from fibromyalgia also exhibit signs of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) is another autoimmune disease, similar to fibromyalgia, which is closely linked with vitamin B12 deficiency. Scientists have noted an extremely high correlation between all three conditions- fibromyalgia, chronic fatigue, and B12 deficiency. Symptoms of CFS are extreme tiredness upon waking up in the morning, fatigue following minimal physical exertion, achy joints, and fibro fog.
Diabetics who take the drug metformin are susceptible to vitamin B12 deficiency, say scientists. Scientific studies linking low B12 levels with long-term usage of metformin indicate a 77% chance of developing peripheral neuropathy.
Stomach acids are essential for digesting vitamin B12 naturally from food sources. That is why people who take heartburn medication frequently, such as people with Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) or pregnant women, must take care to avoid B12 deficiency.
Some weight loss surgery procedures involve removing the terminal ilium, a part of the digestive system that is responsible for absorbing vitamin B12. For that reason, patients of bariatric surgery are strongly advised to supplement with non-oral vitamin B12.
Sometimes, vitamin B12 deficiency is caused by pernicious anemia, a condition that distorts your red blood cells and inhibits absorption of vitamin B12. Causes of pernicious anemia include autoimmune disease and gastritis.
Autoimmune thyroid disease, also called Hashimoto’s disease, is an autoimmune disease that causes hypothyroidism, or an underactive thyroid gland. There is an unusually high correlation between instances of autoimmune thyroid disease and pernicious anemia caused by vitamin B12 deficiency. Because some of the symptoms of thyroid disease mimic pernicious anemia, many doctors overlook the possibility of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Vitamin B12 helps to sustain cognitive health. In many studies, scientists have noticed that elderly individuals with low levels of B12 are more likely to suffer from early onset dementia than elderly individuals who maintain adequate levels of vitamin B12.
Got Colitis? Skip Tequila, Go for the Worm: Scientists believe they have a cure for Crohn’s disease and celiac,and it involves using parasitic hookworms. Here are some other surprising natural options for managing autoimmune disease.
Are we killing ourselves with hygiene?
Clean bottled drinking water, sub-zero refrigeration, anti-bacterial gels, dirt-free playgrounds, and sanitized kitchen counters- what do all these things all have in common?
If you guessed that these things all help to prevent disease, then guess again.
According to scientists, our standards of cleanliness are backfiring, killing healthy microscopic parasites that our bodies need to thrive.
Unlike people living in impoverished countries, where bug-ridden sacks of grain are commonly dealt with, we, with our clean, white processed bags of flour are nevertheless exclusive in our propensity for developing autoimmune diseases such as Inflammatory Bowel Disorder (IBD),Multiple Sclerosis (MS), and asthma.
Dish out the dirt.
The hygiene hypothesis implies that modern-day medical technology and sanitary standards, such as vaccines, antibiotics, purified water, and refrigeration have caused autoimmune disease by disturbing the body’s natural balance of healthy parasitic worms.
Worm therapy was part of standard medicine in previous centuries. So it comes as no surprise to supporters of the hygiene hypothesis that autoimmune diseases were nonexistent in earlier times, arriving on the medical scene only in recent years.
According to Dr. Joel Weinstock, chief of gastroenterology and professor of immunology at Tufts University, instances of IBD went up from 1 out of 10,000 in the 50s, to 1 out of 250 in modern days.
Open up and say…well, you might want to close your eyes.
Beginning in October 2011, research participants will volunteer to swallow pig whipworm eggs, as part of a study focusing on treating autoimmune disease. By introducing worms into the digestive systems, scientists hope to find a cure for digestive disorders. By the end of the year, the whipworm larvae will have passed through the intestines, and scientists hope to find enough evidence to further the advancement of worm therapy for immunological diseases.
Deluded about the Digestive System? If you have Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), then you’ll hear many myths about Crohn’s, colitis, and Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS); here are 15 IBD facts.
“IBD is a mental disorder,” and other digestive system myths
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a debilitating, autoimmune disease that affects your digestive system.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are both forms of IBD. People diagnosed with IBD often suffer in silence with symptoms like stomach bloating, cramps, chronic diarrhea, heartburn, and constipation.
That’s because people who have IBD are often ashamed to discuss it with friends and family. As a result, it is all too easy to fall victim to the many misconceptions, myths, and general confusion surrounding Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Fortunately, the truth is out there; you just have to know where to find it. Listed below are some of the most common misconceptions you’re likely to hear about digestive diseases.
IBD fallacies we’re tired of hearing:
1) “Supplements are useless for treating Inflammatory Bowel Disorder.”
Many homeopathic medicines and other alternative treatments are helpful for relieving symptoms like occasional constipation, nausea, and stomach pains.
Moreover, vitamin supplements such as vitamin B12 are beneficial for anybody suffering from IBD. More often than not, vitamin B12 deficiency occurs with digestive disorders, for several reasons.
Sometimes, gastritis or other kinds of damage to the stomach inhibit your ability to digest vitamin B12, leading to severe depletion.
Other times, treatments for IBD, such as medications or surgeries (ileostomy) are the cause of vitamin B12 deficiency.
In such cases, regular supplementation of vitamin B12 is crucial to avoid debilitating symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency.
2) “Inflammatory Bowel Disease is the same thing as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”
IBD and IBS are two separate conditions that affect the body differently, although the symptoms are alike.
IBD causes severe inflammation of the intestinal tracts; with ulcerative colitis IBD, the colon is also affected.
IBS, or “spastic colon,” causes no lasting damage to the intestinal lining.
3) “By following a healthy diet, I have completely cured myself of IBD.”
There is no known cure for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
Eating healthy foods, avoiding junk food, and identifying “trigger foods” is an excellent way to alleviate many of the symptoms of IBD and prevent flare-ups, but you should nevertheless continue to visit your doctor, and take your medications, unless otherwise prescribed.
4) “I’ve heard that IBD is caused by really bad stress. And depression.”
It’s unclear exactly what causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Some scientists believe it may result from a virus.Still, we do know that certain factors may complicate IBD; prolonged stress, unhealthy diet, and smoking may exacerbate the symptoms of IBD, but they are not the underlying cause.
To minimize stomach ailments and stay in remission, you must continue to eat healthy, reduce stress, and avoid smoking.
5) You have Crohn’s disease? I’ve heard that IBD is just a fancy term for chronic diarrhea.”
Diarrhea is one of many symptoms related to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
In some cases, Crohn’s disease patients don’t even suffer from diarrhea, making it even harder to get an IBD diagnosis. If you do suffer from chronic diarrhea, don’t ignore the symptoms; see a doctor immediately.
6) “If you don’t see any blood, then it’s just Irritable Bowel Syndrome.”
See a doctor if you have any digestive disease symptoms, even when blood is not present.
Just as the absence of diarrhea symptoms does not negate Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, neither does the absence of blood in your stool mean that you necessarily don’t have IBD.
7) “I’ve been having fewer bowel movements, so I must be in remission.”
Only your doctor can confirm if you are in remission.
Having fewer loose stools is only one of several indications. To find out for sure, visit your doctor for blood testing and a complete checkup.
8) “You have Crohn’s disease? That means you can’t have children.”
Most prescribed treatments for Crohn’s disease are safe to take during a pregnancy or while nursing a baby.
Unless you take antibiotics, thalidomide, or methotrexate, there is no reason why you may not plan to have a baby while continuing to take your Crohn’s disease medications.
Nevertheless, make sure that your OB/GYN knows about all medications you are taking, including IBD treatments and vitamin regimens.
9) “Once you’ve had ostomy surgery, you will never be able to conceive a child.”
There is no direct link between ostomy surgery and male or female infertility.
Ostomy surgery is a procedure in which a part of the intestines is removed, and the remaining piece is attached to a pouch that is connected to a tube protruding from a stomach opening. While there are some instances of erectile dysfunction following ostomy surgery, in most cases, that is not the norm.
Likewise, women who undergo ostomy surgery might have reduced sexual desires related to physical discomfort, poor body image, and the “newness” of the whole procedure, but her reproductive organs remain unaffected.
Natural remedies for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis:
1) Probiotics-Lactobacillus (L. acidophilus) is one of the most popular types of “friendly bacteria” used to promote digestive health for people with ulcerative colitis. Probiotics affect the amount of unhealthy bacteria in the gut, quell inflammation, and strengthen the stomach lining. Good sources of lactobacillus include yogurt, fermented soy products, and nutritional supplements.
2) Diet- The best way to avoid Crohn’s disease flare-ups is by following a restrictive diet. Some popular diets for IBD include the Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) and the Low Residue Diet (LRD). Read more about treating Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis through diet: Ten Foods to avoid if you have Inflammatory Bowel Disorder.
3) Blond psyllium- Blond psyllium is an herb that is used as a gentle stool softener for patients who have undergone anal surgery, in addition to sufferers of hemorrhoids, IBS, and ulcerative colitis.
4) Indian frankincense- Frankincense, or olibanum, refers to the resin that seeps from the Boswellia serrata plant. Naturopathic medicine practitioners use frankincense to benefit arthritis patients, but it is also used for digestive health in the presence of ulcerative colitis, stomach cramps, and menstrual pain.
5) Glutamine- Glutamine is an amino acid that boosts the immune system and digestion. Glutamine imparts healthy reactions in individuals with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, and stomach ulcers, in addition to people undergoing radio-chemotherapy.
6) Wheatgrass- Wheatgrass contains many essential vitamins and nutrients, including vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, calcium, and magnesium. Many wheatgrass juice enthusiasts claim that wheatgrass significantly impacts swelling associated with ulcerative colitis symptoms.
7) Acupuncture- In a controlled study, Crohn’s disease patients who received regular acupuncture treatments experienced significant results from the symptoms of IBD, in addition to an improved state of well-being.
Post-Op Risks Doctors Forget to Mention: Nearly 75% of all Crohn’s disease (IBD) patients undergo gastrointestinal surgery, but few receive warnings about post-surgery vitamin B12 deficiency symptoms.
Vitamin B12 Deficiency Stories, Post-Gastro Surgery
Crohn’s disease is an autoimmune disorder, a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes severe damage of the gastrointestinal tract.
In many cases, IBD patients decide to undergo gastrointestinal surgery to treat the many debilitating symptoms of Crohn’s disease.
However, in addition to relapses, which often occur within 10 years, many patients begin to suffer the effects of vitamin B12 deficiency.
Three Years Later, Things my Doctor Forgot to Mention
One patient suffers from Crohn’s disease. In her Crohn’s and Life happens blog, she relates a frustrating, unfortunate scenario that happens to the majority of Crohn’s disease patients who undergo gastrointestinal surgery- the discovery, several years post-op, that she suffers from severe vitamin B12 deficiency, and that not a single doctor had warned her about the risk factors.
Close Call with Vitamin B12 Deficiency
In his blog, My Crohn’s Disease, the author tells of suffering from vitamin B12 deficiency after having small-bowel resection surgery in order to treat fibro stenotic Crohn’s disease.
“Little did I know I was pretty close to death at this point, my body having been suffering a B-12 deficiency for many months, thanks to my not having realized I was supposed to be taking B-12following my surgery a year earlier.” (taken from blog)
B12 deficiency, left untreated, can result in severe neurological damage and cognitive problems.
Symptoms of vitamin B12 deficiency often include fatigue, depression, short-term memory loss, tingling in hands and feet, and reduced motor skills, to name just a few.
Vitamin B12 shots are painful, as they require insertion into the thickest, most muscular part of the thigh. Many IBD patients opt to administer the injection themselves on a weekly basis, resulting in a large bruise, as depicted in the Jenni’s Guts blog. Sometimes, bleeding occurs, as well.
…and Paying for it dearly
Unless you have very good health insurance coverage, vitamin B12 injections can be pricy. This excerpt is taken from Gutsy Girl:
“ …like many of my surgical Crohn’s brethren, I have to bear a monthly B12 shot for the rest of my life. The negotiated rate with my insurance carrier… is $156. One hundred and fifty-six dollars for a shot of …a vitamin. Per month.”
Self-Discovery of B12 Deficiency
Two years after having his terminal ilium and colon removed, BW continues to suffer from debilitating Crohn’s disease symptoms. Upon conducting his own research online, he learns about the high correlation between vitamin B12 deficiency and gastrointestinal surgery. As to why his surgeon and other doctors failed to warn him about the risks involved, he can only speculate.
“In retrospect, I should have started B12 injections two years ago, right after the removal of my colon and terminal ileum. But my family doctor never mentioned it to me. nor did my GI, or my surgeon. It was only because of my own research that I began to question my B12 levels.” –taken from the Colitis blog.