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Posts Tagged ‘Inflammatory Bowel Disease’

IBD or IBS- What’s the Difference in a Tummy Ache?

Tuesday, February 26th, 2013

 

 

People often mix up irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in speech, but really they are quite different. Although IBS and IBD both cause similar symptoms- stomachaches, nausea- only one is a gastrointestinal disease that can be severely debilitating and life-threatening.

IBD or IBS- What’s the Difference in a Tummy Ache? B12 Patch

Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)

Other terms include spastic colon, irritable colon, mucous colitis, or spastic colitis.

About one out of every six people experience irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a condition that causes abdominal pain and cramping, in addition to abnormal bowel movements.

IBS may occur as a result of an infection in the intestines, or it may be caused by stress. There are no tests to diagnose IBS, rather several diagnostic procedures to rule out IBD, colon cancer, or celiac disease.

Also see: Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

Symptoms of IBS:

People with irritable bowel syndrome suffer from the following symptoms at least three times per month, for at least three months:

  • Stomach pain
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Uncomfortable fullness
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) refers to a set of gastrointestinal illnesses that are chronic or very frequent, and occur because of an autoimmune disorder that causes damage to the stomach and intestines.

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two most common types of IBD, and both can result in ulcers, inflammation, and other types of stomach damage.

Crohn’s disease causes inflammation, sores, and ulcers all along the gastrointestinal tract, including the esophagus, but most often occurs in parts of the small and large intestines.

Ulcerative colitis causes similar damage and ailments in the large intestines and rectum.

Read this- Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

Symptoms of IBD:

Chronic symptoms of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may include:

  • Intense stomach pains, cramps
  • Uncontrollable frequent diarrhea
  • Bloody stools
  • Rectal pain
  • Unexplainable weight loss
  • Nausea
  • Fever, chills
  • Vomiting
  • Mouth sores
  • Joint pain
  • Liver disease

Complications

There are no complications involved with IBS, which is more of a functional condition of the stomach that causes no perceivable damage.

With IBD, flare-ups, a worsening of symptoms or long-time illness may cause several comorbid conditions or complications, including:

  • Infected fistula caused by deep ulcers
  • Colon rupture caused by toxic megacolon
  • Anemia caused by low iron or vitamin B12 deficiency, resulting in too few red blood cells.

Conclusion

IBS is distressing and uncomfortable, but it causes no actual damage to the gastrointestinal tract, and is not life-threatening. To treat, avoid foods that irritate the stomach, and eat small frequent meals, in order to prevent overstuffing.

With IBD, portions of the intestines and stomach are diseased and vulnerable to rupture, which can be deadly. Diagnosis may require colonoscopy, X-ray, barium enema, blood tests, MRI, and CT scan.

Depending on the severity of IBD symptoms, treatments may include medications, restrictive diet, vitamins, including vitamin B12 supplements, and possibly, surgery.

Your turn!

Do you have any questions or suggestions?  Please leave your comments below.

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Like this? Read more:

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Four Reasons to check your Vitamin B12 Levels with Crohn’s Disease

Sources:

Irritable bowel syndrome- PubMed Health

Ulcerative colitis- PubMed Health

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Image(s) courtesy of dream designs/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Crohn’s- 9 Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD) Myths to Ignore

Thursday, September 8th, 2011

 

 

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.

CROHN’S- 15 IRRITABLE BOWEL DISEASE (IBD) MYTHS TO IGNORE, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

“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.

CROHN’S- 15 IRRITABLE BOWEL DISEASE (IBD) MYTHS TO IGNORE, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

 

 

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.

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety

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.

CROHN’S- 15 IRRITABLE BOWEL DISEASE (IBD) MYTHS TO IGNORE, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

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.

CROHN’S- 15 IRRITABLE BOWEL DISEASE (IBD) MYTHS TO IGNORE, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

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.

Related reading:

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)

Best 15 Twitter Feeds to follow for Autoimmune Disease Info

Sources:

5 Things You Need to Know About Colitis

Myths Revealed: Irritable Bowel and Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Nine Digestive Disease Myths

Common Digestive Problems Myths: IBS, Gas, Diarrhea, Heartburn, and More

Qualitative research in inflammatory bowel disease: dispelling the myths of an unknown entity

I Hate IBD- Crohn’s Disease Diagnosis

Do Men Become Impotent After A Colostomy Or Ileostomy?

Crohn’s Disease Management: Stay in Control

Setting the Record Straight – The MYTHS of Crohn’s Disease


Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Free Stock Photos

7 Natural Remedies for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Monday, September 5th, 2011

 

 


Avoid gastrointestinal surgery or harmful Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) drug treatments; Promote digestive system health in the midst of Crohn’s disease naturally, safely with home remedies.

7 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD), WWW.B12PATCH.COM


What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is an autoimmune disease that causes severe damage to the digestive tract.  Illnesses that fall under IBD include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

What is Irritable Bowel Syndrome?

Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), however, is not a disease, but rather a condition also referred to as spastic colon. IBS does not cause any damage to the colon.

Symptoms of IBD include:

  • Anemia
  • Bleeding
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Flatulence
  • Fever
  • Loose irregular stools
  • Bloody stools
  • Inflamed colon
  • Stomach cramps
  • Swelling
  • Ulcers

7 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD), WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Flickr

Crohn’s Disease Suggested Dinner Menu, plus Recipes

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.

7 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD), WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Flickr

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.

7 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD), WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Flickr

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.

Natural Treatments for the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

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.

7 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD), WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Flickr

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.

7 NATURAL REMEDIES FOR INFLAMMATORY BOWEL DISEASE (IBD), WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Flickr

Related reading:

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)

Sources:

Common Vitamins and Supplements to Treat Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

Herbs and Supplements for inflammatory bowel disease

Natural Remedies for Ulcerative Colitis

Crohn’s disease: Alternative medicine – MayoClinic.com

Gastrointestinal Surgery for Crohn’s (IBD) and B12 Warnings

Friday, September 2nd, 2011

 

 

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.

GASTROINTESTINAL SURGERY FOR CROHN’S (IBD) AND B12 WARNINGS, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

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.

GASTROINTESTINAL SURGERY FOR CROHN’S (IBD) AND B12 WARNINGS, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

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.

GASTROINTESTINAL SURGERY FOR CROHN’S (IBD) AND B12 WARNINGS, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

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-12 following 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.

Read more about vitamin B12 deficiency: B12 Deficiency: Don’t Ignore the Symptoms

GASTROINTESTINAL SURGERY FOR CROHN’S (IBD) AND B12 WARNINGS, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

Bruising Myself with Vitamin B12 Shots…

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.”

GASTROINTESTINAL SURGERY FOR CROHN’S (IBD) AND B12 WARNINGS, WWW.B12PATCH.COM

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.

Related reading:

101 Helpful Sites for Kids ‘n Teens with Crohn’s (and their Parents)

Crohn’s Disease: What You Can Do about it Now

On the Run with Crohn’s? 6 Ways to Ease Public Restroom Anxiety

Natural Treatments for the Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease

Gut Bugs:Winning the Bacteria Battle

References:

CCFA.org: Surgery for Crohn’s Disease


Images courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net, Rodrigo Basaure, drmstream

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