Friday, 30 December 2016

Electrolytes | Definition

Electrolytes are certain nutrients (or chemicals) present in your body that have many important functions — from regulating your heartbeat to allowing your muscles to contract so you can move. The major electrolytes found within the body include calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, phosphate and chloride.

IBD can result in electrolyte imbalances for many reasons, ranging from dehydration due to high output ostomies, diarrhoea, sickness, heat or lack of absorption due to scarring in the intestines or resection.

It is important to replace the missing electrolytes so that you become rebalanced. How this is done will depend on the severity of the imbalance. If you have a minor imbalance then dietary changes may be possible or drinking rehydration solutions is another option. Treatments for more severe cases include fluid replacement intravenously during a hospital stay.

MRI | Definition

Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) is a type of scan that uses strong magnetic fields and radio waves to produce detailed images of the inside of the body. An MRI scanner is a large tube that contains powerful magnets. You lie inside the tube during the scan.
MRI's help identify active disease in IBD and can help locate strictures (narrowings) in the intestine and other complications such as abscesses.

Immunosuppressants | Definition

Immunosuppressant drugs are a class of drugs that suppress, or reduce, the strength of the body's immune system.
Examples of Immunosuppressants:

  • Azathioprine (Imuran) and mercaptopurine (Purinethol)
  • Infliximab (Remicade), adalimumab (Humira) and certolizumab pegol (Cimzia)
  • Methotrexate (Rheumatrex)
  • Cyclosporine (Gengraf, Neoral, Sandimmune) and tacrolimus (Astagraf XL, Hecoria)
  • Natalizumab (Tysabri) and vedolizumab (Entyvio)
  • Ustekinumab (Stelara)

Adhesions | Definition

Adhesions are most commonly caused by scarring from surgery and less commonly from scarring due to active Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Adhesions are fibrous bands that form between tissues which can cause pain and blockages in the intestines

Resection | Definition

A bowel resection is a surgical procedure in which a part of the large or small intestine is removed.

Proctocolectomy | Definition

Proctocolectomy is the surgical removal of the rectum and all or part of the colon.

Hemicolectomy | Definition

A hemicolectomy involves surgery to remove the right or left portion of the colon.

Partial or subtotal colectomy | Definition

Partial colectomy involves removing part of the colon and may also be referred to as a subtotal colectomy.

Total Colectomy | Definition

When the entire colon is removed, this is called a total colectomy, also known as Lane's Operation.

Colectomy | Definition

A colectomy is a surgical procedure to remove all or part of your colon. Your colon, also called your large intestine, is a long tubelike organ at the end of your digestive tract. Colectomy may be necessary to treat or prevent diseases and conditions that affect your colon.

There are various types of colectomy operations:

  • Total colectomy involves removing the entire colon.
  • Partial colectomy involves removing part of the colon and may also be called subtotal colectomy.
  • Hemicolectomy involves removing the right or left portion of the colon.
  • Proctocolectomy involves removing both the colon and rectum.

Extensive or Total Colitis or Pancolitis | Definition

Extensive colitis extends along most of the colon. Extensive colitis that affects the whole colon may be called total colitis or pancolitis. Extensive or total colitis can cause very frequent diarrhoea with blood, mucus, and sometimes pus. You may also have severe abdominal cramps and pain, tenesmus, and weight loss. In milder flare-ups the main symptom may be diarrhoea or looser stools without blood. Very rarely, when the inflammation is severe, digestive gases may get trapped in the colon, making it swell up. This is known as toxic megacolon and it can cause a high fever as well as pain and tenderness in the abdomen. It is essential to get treatment quickly for this condition, as it may need surgery.

Left-sided (or Distal) Colitis | Definition

In this type of Ulcerative Colitis the inflammation starts at the rectum and continues up the left side of the colon (also known as the distal or descending colon). Symptoms include diarrhoea with blood and mucus, pain on the left hand side of the abdomen, urgency, and tenesmus.

Proctitis and proctosigmoiditis | Definition

In proctitis, only the rectum is inflamed. This means that the rest of the colon is unaffected and can still function normally. For many people with proctitis the main symptom is passing fresh blood, or blood stained mucus. You may get diarrhoea, or you may have normal stools or even constipation. You may also feel an urgent need to rush to the toilet. Some people with proctitis often feel that they have an urge to pass a stool, but cannot pass anything because the bowel is actually empty. This is called tenesmus. In some people, the sigmoid colon (the short curving piece of colon nearest the rectum) may also be inflamed – a form of UC sometimes known as proctosigmoiditis. The symptoms are similar to those of proctitis, although you are less likely to have constipation with proctosigmoiditis.

Oral Crohn’s | Definition

Crohn’s can occasionally affect the mouth. True oral Crohn’s, which typically causes swollen lips and mouth fissures, is rare. However, about one in five people with Crohn’s has a tendency to develop mouth ulcers.

Perianal Crohn's | Definition

Crohn’s in the area around the anus (back passage) can occur on its own or at the same time as inflammation in other parts of the body. It can cause a number of symptoms such as:
 Fissures – these are tears in the lining of the anal canal (back passage), which can cause pain and bleeding, especially during bowel movements.
 Skin tags – small fleshy growths around the anus.
 Haemorrhoids – swollen areas in the anal canal.
 Abscesses – collections of pus that can become swollen and painful. They are often found in the area around the anus and can cause a fever or lead to a fistula.
 Fistulas – these are narrow tunnels or passageways between the gut and the skin or another organ. In perianal Crohn’s, fistulas often run from the anal canal to the skin around the anus. They appear as tiny openings in the skin that leak pus or sometimes faecal matter. They can irritate the skin and are often sore and painful, but can usually be treated with medication and / or surgery

Gastroduodenal Crohn's | Definition

Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease affects the stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). Those with this form of Crohn’s disease often experience nausea, lack of appetite, and weight loss. People who have gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease may also vomit if small parts of the bowel become blocked. This is because of intestinal inflammation.

Crohn's Colitis | Definition

Crohn’s Disease in the colon (large intestine or large bowel) is often called Crohn’s Colitis. This is also a common form of Crohn’s disease. The main symptom tends to be blood stained diarrhoea. Because of the inflammation, the colon cannot hold as much waste as normal and you may have very frequent bowel movements, especially if your rectum is inflamed.

Terminal ileal and ileocaecal Crohn's Disease | Definition

Crohn’s in the ileum (the last part of the small intestine) may be called ileal or sometimes ‘terminal ileal’ Crohn’s – because it is affecting the terminus or end of the ileum.
If it also affects the beginning of the large bowel it is known as ileocaecal Crohn’s. With this type of Crohn’s you may feel pain in the lower right side of your abdomen, especially after eating. There is often weight loss, and you may have diarrhoea. Because Crohn’s in the ileum can make it difficult for your body to absorb bile salts, and bile salts can irritate the bowel lining, the diarrhoea may be watery. It is unlikely to be bloody, as any blood lost will be digested by the time it reaches the rectum. About four out of 10 people with Crohn’s have ileal or ileocaecal disease.

Tuesday, 20 December 2016

Your IBD Stories - AJ



Name: 
AJ

What year were you diagnosed and with which form of IBD? 
2009. Crohns Colitis

Have you identified anything that triggers you, and if so what? 
Stress and pretzels

Highlight an invisible symptom of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which you feel affects you: 
Fatigue!

Name one thing you feel like you’ve learnt or gained since having Inflammatory Bowel Disease:
True friends/family

What makes you an #IBDSuperHero?
Surviving my bowel perforating and I can now poo standing up lol! Oh and also being part of #IBDSuperheroes admin


Wednesday, 14 December 2016

IBD SuperHero and Ninja Warrior raises £1.3K to Cure Crohn's and Colitis

Crohn's Disease sufferer, physiotherapist and all round superhero, Lizzie Smith has spent the whole of 2016 pushing herself to the limit with a 10-kilometre run every month, as well as taking part in more than seven muddy obstacle courses that would put even the fittest human to the test, all in aid of raising money to find a cure for Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis!

It's been quite year for IBD Superhero Lizzie, as she's battled through treacherous fundraising activities, had a car accident, taken part in ITV's Ninja Warrior UK (to be aired in the next few weeks), qualified for the European Obstacle Race European Championships, been a guest on BBC Radio Nottingham, moved house and bought a bunny, all whilst continuing daily mundane tasks like work and medical treatment for 5 hours every 8 weeks!

Listen to Lizzie's interview on BBC Radio Nottingham.


Lizzie is on a fundraising mission to find a cure for Crohn's and Colitis via #IBDSuperHeroes and has recently set up a Facebook page, 'Mud, Guts & Me' so that you can follow her journey. 

Lizzie says, "I want to inspire and empower to show that.... Obstacles, no matter what they are, don't have to stop you... If you run into a wall.. Don't give up..
Figure out how to climb it, get around it, go through it...or smash it HULK style... Please follow my journey fighting disease, raising awareness and being an OCR (Obstacle Course Racer)...
Conquer your obstacles..."



We think Lizzie is a shining example that... Not all superheroes wear capes (well, sometimes).

Follow Lizzie on Twitter
Like Lizzie's Facebook page
DONATE to Lizzie on JustGiving

THANK YOU Lizzie, we're amazingly proud of you!



Tuesday, 13 December 2016

#IBDSuperHeroes festive competition launched

If you're a member of the #IBDSuperHeroes group then lucky you!!

You could be in with a chance of winning #IBDSuperHeroes #merchandise as a festive treat!!

As always, all money raised goes to funding research in to finding a cure for Crohn's & Colitis!
Rules & entry can be found here.



Sunday, 11 December 2016

Anastomosis | Definition

The surgical joining of two ends of intestine after a surgeon has cut out a diseased part of bowel.

Anal sphincter

The ring of muscle surrounding the anal canal, which controls the opening and closing of the anus.


Anal fissure | Definition

A crack or split in the skin around the anus, which is often painful and may cause bleeding. In Crohn’s Disease it may become deeper and may be referred to as an anal ulcer.

Anaemia | Definition

A reduced numbers of red blood cells. Red blood cells carry oxygen around the body. Lack of red blood cells can cause tiredness and shortness of breath. In IBD, anaemia may be due to blood loss and/or poor intake or absorption of vitamins or iron.

Acid Reflux | Definition

A burning sensation usually felt in the chest when stomach acid flows back up into the oesophagus. Commonly called heartburn.

Abscess | Definition

A pus filled area that becomes red, swollen and painful, usually in response to an infection. In people with Crohn's, abscesses may form in the abdomen or in the anal and rectal area.

Friday, 9 December 2016

Anus | Definition

Terminal opening of the anal canal, the portion of the digestive tract through which faecal material is excreted.


Rectum | Definition

Terminal segment of the digestive system in which faeces accumulate just prior to discharge. The rectum is continuous with the sigmoid colon and extends 13 to 15 cm (5 to 6 inches) to the anus. A muscular sheet called the pelvic diaphragm runs perpendicular to the juncture of the rectum and anal canal and maintains a constriction between these two segments of the large intestine. The internal cavity of the rectum is divided into three or four chambers; each chamber is partly segmented from the others by permanent transverse folds (valves of Houston) that help to support the rectal contents. A sheath of longitudinal muscle surrounds the outside wall of the rectum, making it possible for the rectum to shorten in length.

Food wastes remain in the sigmoid colon until they are ready to be excreted from the body. As the faecal material enters the rectum, the walls distend to accommodate the material. When sufficient pressure builds up within the distended rectal cavity, the urge to eliminate wastes occurs.

Colon | Definition

the longest segment of the large intestine. The term colon is often used to refer to the entire large intestine.

The colon extends from the cecum (an enlarged area at the end of the small intestine) up the right side of the abdomen (ascending colon), across to the left side (transverse colon), and down the left side (descending colon) and then loops (at the sigmoid flexure, or sigmoid colon) to join the rectum. The purpose of the colon is to lubricate waste products, absorb remaining fluids and salts, and store waste products until they are ready to be passed from the body. Most absorption occurs in the ascending and transverse regions, where the liquid material received from the small intestine is dehydrated to form a fecal mass.

The inner wall of the colon consists of a mucous membrane that absorbs the fluids and secretes mucus to lubricate the waste materials. The deeper muscle layer is composed of circular and longitudinal muscles. Circular muscles produce the mild churning and mixing motions of the intestine, while the longitudinal ones create the strong massive muscle contractions that actually move the feces.

Ileocecal valve | Definition

- also called Bauhin valve

This valve  limits the rate of food passage into the cecum and may help prevent material from returning to the small intestine.

Cecum | Definition

Also spelled caecum , pouch or large tubelike structure in the lower abdominal cavity that receives undigested food material from the small intestine and is considered the first region of the large intestine. It is separated from the ileum (the final portion of the small intestine) by the ileocecal valve (also called Bauhin valve), which limits the rate of food passage into the cecum and may help prevent material from returning to the small intestine.

The main functions of the cecum are to absorb fluids and salts that remain after completion of intestinal digestion and absorption and to mix its contents with a lubricating substance, mucus. The internal wall of the cecum is composed of a thick mucous membrane, through which water and salts are absorbed. Beneath that lining is a deep layer of muscle tissue that produces churning and kneading motions.

Large intestine | Definition

Posterior section of the intestine, consisting typically of four regions: the cecum, colon, rectum, and anus. The term colon is sometimes used to refer to the entire large intestine.

The large intestine is wider and shorter than the small intestine (approximately 1.5 metres, or 5 feet, in length as compared with 6.7 to 7.6 metres, or 22 to 25 feet, in length for the small intestine) and has a smooth inner wall. In the proximal, or upper, half of the large intestine, enzymes from the small intestine complete the digestive process, and bacteria produce B vitamins (B12, thiamin, and riboflavin) as well as vitamin K. The primary function of the large intestine, however, is absorption of water and electrolytes from digestive residues (a process that usually takes 24 to 30 hours) and storage of fecal matter until it can be expelled. Churning movements of the large intestine gradually expose digestive residue to the absorbing walls. A progressive and more vigorous type of movement known as the gastrocolic reflex, which occurs only two or three times daily, propels the material toward the anus.

Small Intestine | Definition

A long, narrow, folded or coiled tube extending from the stomach to the large intestine; it is the region where most digestion and absorption of food takes place. It is about 6.7 to 7.6 metres (22 to 25 feet) long, highly convoluted, and contained in the central and lower abdominal cavity.

Ileum | Definition

The final and longest segment of the small intestine. It is specifically responsible for the absorption of vitamin B12 and the reabsorption of conjugated bile salts. The ileum is about 3.5 metres (11.5 feet) long (or about three-fifths the length of the small intestine) and extends from the jejunum (the middle section of the small intestine) to the ileocecal valve, which empties into the colon (large intestine). The ileum is suspended from the abdominal wall by the mesentery, a fold of serous (moisture-secreting) membrane.

Ulcerative Colitis | Definition

Ulcerative Colitis is a condition that causes inflammation and ulceration of the inner lining of the rectum and colon (the large bowel). In Ulcerative Colitis, tiny ulcers develop on the surface of the lining and these may bleed and produce pus.

The inflammation usually begins in the rectum and lower colon, but it may affect the entire colon. If UC only affects the rectum, it is called proctitis, while if it affects the whole colon it may be called total colitis or pancolitis.

Most people assume IBD is 'just a toilet disease', but it does in fact have a vast array of extraintestinal manifestations, meaning they are situated or occurring outside of the intestines.

These are diseases known to be associated with IBD that occur beyond the gastrointestinaltract, such as:
Musculoskeletal: joint and muscle pain
Dermatological: skin inflammation, rashes, and irritation
Hepatobiliary: inflammation of liver, bile ducts, and gall bladder
Ocular: eye inflammation (uveitis or iritis)
Kidney Stones
Deep Vein Thrombosis

The main types of Ulcerative Colitis:

Proctitis
In proctitis, only the rectum is inflamed. This means that the rest of the colon is unaffected and can still function normally. For many people with proctitis the main symptom is passing fresh blood, or blood stained mucus. You may get diarrhoea, or you may have normal stools or even constipation. You may also feel an urgent need to rush to the toilet. Some people with proctitis often feel that they have an urge to pass a stool, but cannot pass anything because the bowel is actually empty. This is called tenesmus. In some people, the sigmoid colon (the short curving piece of colon nearest the rectum) may also be inflamed – a form of UC sometimes known as proctosigmoiditis. The symptoms are similar to those of proctitis, although you are less likely to have constipation with proctosigmoiditis.

Left-sided (or Distal) Colitis
In this type of UC the inflammation starts at the rectum and continues up the left side of the colon (also known as the distal or descending colon). Symptoms include diarrhoea with blood and mucus, pain on the left hand side of the abdomen, urgency, and tenesmus.

Extensive / Total Colitis / Pancolitis
Extensive colitis extends along most of the colon. Extensive colitis that affects the whole colon may be called total colitis or pancolitis. Extensive or total colitis can cause very frequent diarrhoea with blood, mucus, and sometimes pus. You may also have severe abdominal cramps and pain, tenesmus, and weight loss. In milder flare-ups the main symptom may be diarrhoea or looser stools without blood. Very rarely, when the inflammation is severe, digestive gases may get trapped in the colon, making it swell up. This is known as toxic megacolon and it can cause a high fever as well as pain and tenderness in the abdomen. It is essential to get treatment quickly for this condition, as it may need surgery

Crohn's Disease | Definition

Crohn’s Disease is a condition that causes inflammation of the digestive system or gut. Crohn’s can affect any part of the gut, though the most common area affected  is the end of the ileum (the last part of the small intestine), or the colon.

The areas of inflammation are often patchy with sections of normal gut in between. A patch of inflammation may be small, only a few centimetres, or extend quite a distance along part of the gut. As well as affecting the lining of the bowel, Crohn’s may also go deeper into the bowel wall.

Most people assume IBD is 'just a toilet disease', but it does in fact have a vast array of extraintestinal manifestations, meaning they are situated or occurring outside of the intestines.

These are diseases known to be associated with IBD that occur beyond the gastrointestinaltract, such as:
Musculoskeletal: joint and muscle pain
Dermatological: skin inflammation, rashes, and irritation
Hepatobiliary: inflammation of liver, bile ducts, and gall bladder
Ocular: eye inflammation (uveitis or iritis)
Kidney Stones
Deep Vein Thrombosis

The main types of Crohn's Disease:

Terminal ileal and ileocaecal
Crohn’s in the ileum (the last part of the small intestine) may be called ileal or sometimes ‘terminal ileal’ Crohn’s – because it is affecting the terminus or end of the ileum. If it also affects the beginning of the large bowel it is known as ileocaecal Crohn’s. With this type of Crohn’s you may feel pain in the lower right side of your abdomen, especially after eating. There is often weight loss, and you may have diarrhoea. Because Crohn’s in the ileum can make it difficult for your body to absorb bile salts, and bile salts can irritate the bowel lining, the diarrhoea may be watery. It is unlikely to be bloody, as any blood lost will be digested by the time it reaches the rectum. About four out of 10 people with Crohn’s have ileal or ileocaecal disease.


Small bowel
Abdominal pain and diarrhoea are also common symptoms of Crohn’s further up the small bowel. Again, the diarrhoea is unlikely to be blood stained, but you may still have weight loss and anaemia. Nearly a third of people with Crohn’s have it in the small bowel. 

Colonic or Crohn's Colitis
Crohn’s Disease in the colon (large intestine or large bowel) is often called Crohn’s Colitis. This is also a common form of Crohn’s disease. The main symptom tends to be blood stained diarrhoea. Because of the inflammation, the colon cannot hold as much waste as normal and you may have very frequent bowel movements, especially if your rectum is inflamed.

Gastroduodenal
Gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease affects the stomach and duodenum (the first part of the small intestine). Those with this form of Crohn’s disease often experience nausea, lack of appetite, and weight loss. People who have gastroduodenal Crohn’s disease may also vomit if small parts of the bowel become blocked. This is because of intestinal inflammation.

Perianal
Crohn’s in the area around the anus (back passage) can occur on its own or at the same time as inflammation in other parts of the body. It can cause a number of symptoms such as:
 Fissures – these are tears in the lining of the anal canal (back passage), which can cause pain and bleeding, especially during bowel movements.
 Skin tags – small fleshy growths around the anus.
 Haemorrhoids – swollen areas in the anal canal.
 Abscesses – collections of pus that can become swollen and painful. They are often found in the area around the anus and can cause a fever or lead to a fistula.
 Fistulas – these are narrow tunnels or passageways between the gut and the skin or another organ. In perianal Crohn’s, fistulas often run from the anal canal to the skin around the anus. They appear as tiny openings in the skin that leak pus or sometimes faecal matter. They can irritate the skin and are often sore and painful, but can usually be treated with medication and / or surgery

Oral Crohn’s
Crohn’s can occasionally affect the mouth. True oral Crohn’s, which typically causes swollen lips and mouth fissures, is rare. However, about one in five people with Crohn’s has a tendency to develop mouth ulcers.

Anal fistula | Definition

An anal fistula is a small tunnel that develops between the end of the bowel and the skin near the anus (where poo leaves the body).

They're usually the result of an infection near the anus causing a collection of pus (abscess) in the nearby tissue. When the pus drains away, it can leave a small channel behind.


Anal fistulas can cause unpleasant symptoms, such as discomfort and skin irritation, and won't usually get better on their own. Surgery is recommended in most cases.

Symptoms include:

  • skin irritation around the anus
  • a constant, throbbing pain that may be worse when you sit down, move around, have a bowel movement or cough
  • smelly discharge from near your anus 
  • passing pus or blood when you poo
  • swelling and redness around your anus and a high temperature (fever), if you also have an abscess
  • difficulty controlling bowel movements in some cases
The end of the fistula might be visible as a hole in the skin near your anus, although this may be difficult for you to see yourself.

Musculoskeletal disorders | Definition

Musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) are conditions that can affect your muscles, bones, and joints. They include conditions such as:
Tendinitis
Carpal tunnel syndrome
Osteoarthritis
Rheumatoid arthritis
Fibromyalgia

Bone fractures

Gastrointestinal Tract | Definition

- also known as the digestive tract.

The large, muscular tube that extends from the mouth to the anus, where the movement of muscles, along with the release of hormones and enzymes, allows for the digestion of food. Also called the alimentary canal or digestive tract.

Remission | Definition

An absence of disease symptoms in patients with a chronic illness, with the possibility of return of the disease symptoms returning

Thursday, 8 December 2016

Extraintestinal manifestations | Definition

Situated or occurring outside of the intestines.

These are diseases known to be associated with IBD that occur beyond the intestinal tract, such as:
Musculoskeletal: joint and muscle pain
Dermatological: skin inflammation, rashes, and irritation
Hepatobiliary: inflammation of liver, bile ducts, and gall bladder
Ocular: eye inflammation (uveitis or iritis)
Kidney Stones
Fistulas
Deep Vein Thrombosis

Click here for a more comprehensive list.


Autoimmune | Definition

Your body's immune system protects you from disease and infection, but if you have an autoimmune disease, your immune system attacks healthy cells in your body by mistake.

Wednesday, 7 December 2016

Your IBD Stories - Sof Uddin


Name:
Sof Uddin

What year were you diagnosed and with which form of IBD? 
I was diagnosed with Crohns Disease in 2004 when I was 19 years old.

Have you identified anything that triggers you, and if so what? 
When I was 1st diagnosed so many things triggered me, anything remotely spicy, hot or rich and creamy, but as the years went on my body adapted a little and even though I will never be able to eat what I ate before I am able to handle a little flavour.

Highlight an invisible symptom of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which you feel affects you:
I think fatigue has got to be the main aspect here for me, the exhaustion is something that is unreal, and it ends up affecting every facet of your life, whether that be social or work, it not only physically drains you but mentally too.

Name one thing you feel like you’ve learnt or gained since having Inflammatory Bowel Disease:
I have learnt so much and gained a hell of a lot of knowledge surrounding IBD, the most important thing for me though is that I as even as a sufferer have gained awareness of all the different things that are involved with these diseases.

What makes you an #IBDSuperHero? 
When I was 1st diagnosed I had just got into University and times were very hard, I was doing a technical degree which was difficult as it is but dealing with that and my Crohns was such a struggle, but I reminded myself that im not going to let this beat me, I've worked so hard to try and realise this dream, the hell am I going to let this stop me, and through perseverance through everything I came through on the other side.


Tuesday, 6 December 2016

Your IBD Stories - Lisa Cummins



Name: 

Lisa Cummins 

What year were you diagnosed and with which form of IBD?
I was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2004 when I was 18. 

Have you identified anything that triggers you, and if so what? 
I find anything spicy, creamy and some alcohol. 

Highlight an invisible symptom of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which you feel affects you: 
fatigue for me is difficult as you struggle doing the smallest of things and it's hard to explain to people how you feel as its a different type of tiredness. 

Name one thing you feel like you’ve learnt or gained since having Inflammatory Bowel Disease:
Over the 10 years I've been through some hard times which I didn't think I'd be able to deal with 
( had loop ileostomy June 2015) so I've learnt how strong a person I've become since my diagnosis. I've gained a huge understanding of it all and learnt a lot about my Illness over the years and from support groups. 

What makes you an #IBDSuperHero? 
After being at my lowest point last year (2015) when I was hospitalised for 5 weeks, I found that time one of the toughest in all the years I've had this illness. I had a huge operation and was away from my family. It was a big change for me, both mentally and physically. It knocked me down but I dusted myself off and got back up and here to fight another day. 

But 11 months post op i feel like a part of me before my illness has come back. I'm more out going and able to do things without worrying about accidents, or looking for a bathroom. 


My bag gave me my life back!!

Your IBD Stories - Anna Gaunt


Name:
Anna Gaunt


What year were you diagnosed and with which form of IBD? 
I was diagnosed at the start of 2015 with Crohn's disease, later confirmed as Crohn's colitis.

Have you identified anything that triggers you, and if so what?
Stress, stress, and more stress. The biggest trigger ever! Food wise, lettuce, gluten, and spicy foods.
 
Highlight an invisible symptom of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which you feel affects you:
Fatigue and anxiety.


Name one thing you feel like you've learnt or gained since having Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Compassion for other people - learning not to judge a book by its cover (or a person by their illness/healthy appearance)

What makes you an #IBDSuperHero? 
I think everybody with IBD is a superhero in one way or another. But I am particularly proud of completing a degree in History whilst in the midst of my diagnosis of Crohn's disease, anxiety and depression, with no significant period of remission. 


Monday, 5 December 2016

Your IBD Stories - Stephen Gomm


Name:
By day I am the mild mannered Stephen, at night I become the man of Steel. Superman. 

What year were you diagnosed and with which form of IBD?
I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2008.

Have you identified anything that triggers you, and if so what?
The main thing that triggers my IBD is food. Over the years my fruit and vegetable in take has decreased as my stomach has grown less acceptable, especially anything green. I recently had to give up baked beans, sad moment. 
Having IBS as well doesn't help. 

Highlight an invisible symptom of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which you feel affects you: 
The invisible symptom of IBD that affects me the most is fatigue. Waking up every morning feeling like you haven't been asleep. Getting halfway through a working day, hitting a Brick wall and feeling like you need to take a nap. So tired that brain fog sets in, you struggle to remember your own name or what you did five minutes ago. Spending the whole weekend recovering from a working week. Doing something for an hour and then spending the rest of the day recovering. Fatigue is a bitch. 

Name one thing you feel like you’ve learnt or gained since having Inflammatory Bowel Disease:
The main thing I have gained from IBD, apart from an incredible new #family, is compassion. Having a Chronic illness has made me more aware of what other people go through in their lives, made me less judgemental and a more caring person. 

What makes you an #IBDSuperHero? 
Am I an #IBDSuperHero? That's not for me to judge. There are so many people who have been through a lot more than me and who are truly inspirational. All I can do is help raise as much awareness as possible, support others when I can. The IBD community is full of amazing, friendly people. Together we will make a difference, together we will find a cure. 


Sunday, 4 December 2016

Your IBD Stories - Dan Callaghan


Name
Dan Callaghan

I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in December 2005 and by January it had taken a very strong grip of my and I had surgery on the 26th Jan. I spent 6 weeks in hospital overall and dropped down to 7 stone. The first few months were very difficult to adjust due to the surgery not being planned, therefore not giving me any time to accept what was happening.
After a difficult first year learning how to cope and being scared to try and live a normal life it was time to just get on with things and try and get my life back on track, I applied successfully for a promotion at work and took the decision to make my bag permanent. Two years on from my first surgery I elected  to have a total removal due to the risk of a reversal being a failure being quite high. In April 2007 I had my second and final surgery.

It was during my recovery that I met my future wife and adopted son, they were neighbours of my mother so we became close and started a relationship from there. My biggest personal proud moment was adjusting to both life as a permanent ostomate and helping to raise a 2 year old at the same time. Upon full recovery I decided to test myself and see what I could achieve, I started a full gym regime and ju-jitsu classes. After 2 years and a few gradings in the sport I decided I wanted to test myself further so started intense fight classes that included an element of Krav Maga (Israeli Ju-Jitsu) and various other forms of MMA.

In November 2012 I decided to again try and better myself and left the company I had worked at for 12 years and took a step down to move on, my proudest professional achievement came just over a year later when I was promoted to Regional Manager and moved to the midlands, this was shortly followed by the company salesman of the year award.


I still train almost daily and continue to push and test myself as much as my body will allow and tested this further back in June when I competed in a Tough Mudder in aid of Cure Chron’s & Colitis for #IBDSuperheroes.

Saturday, 3 December 2016

Your IBD Stories - Nicola Bullock


Name:
Nicola Bullock

What year were you diagnosed and with which form of IBD?
I was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in January 2014.


Have you identified anything that triggers you, and if so what? 
I have managed to identify stress and lots of green vegetables as a massive trigger for me. Not great when you're trying to eat healthily and you have a child with behavioural issues lol. 

Highlight an invisible symptom of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which you feel affects you:
The worst invisible symptom for me has to be the fatigue and not being able to sleep properly even though I'm absolutely exhausted. I've tried everything to combat it and nothing works, not even trying to increase your activity levels. 

Name one thing you feel like you’ve learnt or gained since having Inflammatory Bowel Disease:
The thing I've gained is about 3 stone due to steroids early on to combat a bad flare, which I'm currently losing, but the thing that I have learned is to take each day as it comes. Planning ahead doesn't always work and so to avoid disappointment I don't bother anymore if I can help it. 

What makes you an #IBDSuperHero? 
What makes me an #IBDSuperHero is the fact that I try not to let it control all aspects of my life. I can't afford to do that with a house, husband and 3 children to take care of. My children get the best of me and I'm proud of that. Even though I have days where I doubt my ability, I don't ever give up!

Much love guys xx

Follow Nicola on Twitter

Friday, 2 December 2016

Your IBD Stories - Rebecca Mckenna



Name
Rebecca (Becka) McKenna

What year were you diagnosed and with which form of IBD?
Diagnosed with Crohn's Disease in Oct 2014 at 15

Have you identified anything that triggers you, and if so what? 
Loads of triggers (mainly my favourite foods) which include 
Chocolate
Citrus Fruits
Apple
Fast Food
Spicy foodStress

Highlight an invisible symptom of Inflammatory Bowel Disease which you feel affects you:
One of the hardest invisible symptoms for me has to be the fatigue. I mean at the tender age of 16 or 17 "how can you be exhausted from doing normal things?" like getting dressed or walking up the stairs or even into the next room? How can you be exhausted just from the bus journey to school, after all you're just sitting on a bus right? As a result of this constant fatigue other parts of my life have been affected, mostly my academic performance & social life. I have been forced to miss school and cancel plans with friends because I simply don't have the energy to go. I'm aware that this probably doesn't sound like too much of a dilemma for those who don't have this disease, after all what teenager wouldn't love an excuse to miss school and stay in bed for most of the day? But trust me it's not all that it's cracked up to be. The hardest part of having fatigue is that people just don't understand. You constantly have to listen to 'helpful advice', 'common sense' or snide remarks from everyone around you. It's not easy to hear the same things over and over again especially from people who have never even heard of your disease, never mind know anything about it! "Maybe if you just went to bed earlier you wouldn't be so tired all the time", "You'll feel better if you eat healthier" (bearing in mind I can't eat a lot of fruits or vegetables), "What do you mean you're still sick?" and probably the hardest one to hear "Stop being lazy. You should just exercise more"

Name one thing you feel like you’ve learnt or gained since having Inflammatory Bowel Disease:
I've learnt more than I ever thought I could just from having this disease. The hardest one was realising that "friends" aren't always who you think they are. Some people who you thought were friends disappear after they find out or after you keep cancelling plans due to poor health. Some even try to avoid you because "you're diseased" and they're afraid that they'll catch it even though they can't. They lean away or take a step back when they hear that you've a disease and they think you don't notice but of course you do.

Despite losing so many people I thought were my friends, I've also gained loads of real friends who kind of understand the situation and are there for me even though some of them don't have IBD or have never heard of the disease before.

What makes you an #IBDSuperHero?
Every day is difficult living with IBD. Life is all about the little victories. You have to take each day as it comes. The biggest achievement so far for me has been joining rugby just a year after getting out of hospital and not being able to walk due to complications of the disease. Rugby is a physically intense game with a number of different ways to get injured. It is very demanding on the body and requires both physical and mental strength. It was really difficult for me due to the constant fatigue and the fact I've no hand/eye coordination (an essential skill for playing rugby) but I'm proud to say that I didn't give in to the fatigue that I pushed through it. We managed to get to two semifinals and I've every intention of returning to play next season.

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