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Depression and Heart Disease

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD?


Hi I’m Maddie and I have inflammatory
bowel disease. My doctors asked me if I could help explain some things that you
should know about inflammatory bowel disease or what we call IBD. Before we
talk about IBD there are a couple of really important things that you need to
do first if you have IBD. It’s not your fault. You didn’t do anything to make it
happen. It’s just bad luck. Second, some people feel sort of alone or
isolated when they are diagnosed with IBD but it’s really important to talk to
someone and it’s important to understand that you aren’t alone. There are over 1.5
million people in the US with IBD and over 150,000 of them are kids or
teens just like you. In order to take care of yourself when you have IBD it’s
important to understand what IBD is and how it can affect you. IBD is really a
couple of different diseases. One is called Crohn’s disease and the other is
ulcerative colitis. Sometimes it’s not completely clear
which it is. Then they call it indeterminate colitis. We don’t know
exactly what causes IBD but in general it is caused by immune dysregulation. That just means that the immune system is overreacting. Normally the immune system plays a very
important role in watching out for infections. When it finds an infection it
turns itself up to fight off the infection and then turns itself down
when the infection is gone. However in IBD it’s turned up even when it
shouldn’t be. This can lead to soreness and inflammation in the intestines and
sometimes other areas like the eyes, liver, skin or joints. we treat IBD by
turning down the overactive immune system. Even though both Crohn’s and
ulcerative colitis are caused by immune dysregulation there are some differences
between them. Ulcerative colitis is limited to the inner lining or mucosa of
the large intestine which is also called the colon.
However Crohn’s disease can cause inflammation anywhere between the lips
and the anus and through all the layers of the intestine. Because the
inflammation can go through all the layers of the intestine it can sometimes
cause scarring and narrowing in the intestine which is called a stricture or
even a hole in the intestine. A hole can cause an abscess which is a
pocket of infection outside of the intestine or a fistula which is like a
tiny tunnel from the intestine to another part of the body. Inflammation
from IBD can give you symptoms like diarrhea, stomach pain, blood in your poop,
vomiting, fevers, joint pain, poor growth and feeling really tired and not hungry.
Although we don’t have a cure for IBD yet there are a pretty good ways to
treat IBD which can make the inflammation and symptoms go away. But
even with treatment a person with IBD can have what we call a flare. That just
means the inflammation has come back and when it does symptoms often come back to.
Avoiding a flare is better than treating a flare so you should always take your
medicines exactly as they were prescribed. This gives you the best
chance of staying well. However if you have a flare particularly symptoms like
severe pain, bleeding, vomiting or high fevers you should let your doctor know
right away. Okay just one more thing, even though I have talked a lot about
symptoms most people with IBD are doing well most of the time and can do their
normal activities like school and sports. Well I’ve gotta go. I hope this is
helpful and I hope you understand a little bit more about IBD. Good luck and
take care of yourself!

22 thoughts on “What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD?

  1. I was diagnosed at 17 but spent most of the year before experiencing symptoms. It was tough but after 12 years of it I'm getting used to it 😀

  2. Been diagnosed for over a year now. Still something I'm getting used to. It does get easier. Here if anyone needs me. Sometimes all you need is someone to talk to. Much love.

  3. I have IBD and the impact it has on me is really annoying because I just feel more depressed than I already am but it also makes me appreciate life a bit more

  4. Just got diagnosed. Pretty scared but i'm trying stay optimistic. Just sucks because every time I eat I get really extreme stomach pain. Ive probably lost 25 pounds in the last couple months because I know when I eat I'll get excruciating pain in my stomach so I try to avoid eating as much as possible.

  5. My friend says it’s cancer but I told her I don’t think it is then she says YOUR WRONG my mom and sister says it’s cancer.but seriously is it cancer? (I really don’t mean to offend anyone or hurt your feelings I’m so sorry if I did )

  6. Diagnosed with crohn’s in the 5th grade and those symptoms are entirely correct. I had all of them and became frail, many flare ups and even almost died of a 4.7 hemoglobin blood count. Now 22 and better but it’s still affecting me even today. If anybody needs a test subject patient, my case fits

  7. all of that wine and smoking had to go somewhere idc if i have it or no imma do whatever i want death is the worst that can happen so who cares

  8. I really think it's what we are eating. My upper stomach is so huge it looks like I'm 5 months prego and my stomach is not hard. This shit sucks, so im trying to eat better, it's not easy, but my goal is to give up dairy and meat

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