the fault in our bowels

**hiya disclaimer i absolutely despise the word bowel you’ll never hear it come out of my mouth but Abi came up with this fun title so there**

i thought it was imperative before i begin that i splurge out all the details so here are ze facts

UC is an autoimmune disease that occurs when a persons immune system mistakenly attacks healthy cells causing swelling and open sores which in turn leads to inflammation and ulcers in the lining of the large intestine and rectum.

UC vs CROHN’S

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohns disease are the 2 major types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Ulcerative Colitis the active disease is limited to the colon and rectum whereas Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere between the mouth and the anus.

With Crohn’s disease, there are healthy parts of the intestine mixed in between inflammed areas, which is why people with Crohn’s may have multiple surgeries to remove only the diseased areas. Ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, is continuous inflammation of the colon starting from the rectum and working the way up. Some peoples can only affect the lower end of the colon/ the rectum. However Pancolitis is what I have- it is more severe and acute and affects the entire colon.

*whether you have Crohn’s or UC, the severity and impact of the disease is different for every person. No one, can ever fully understand what another is going through.*

Image may contain: possible text that says 'CROHN'S DISEASE ULCERATIVE COLITIS Crohn's Disease may affect any part of the digestive system from mouth to anus. All layers ofthe lining of the bowel may be inflamed. Ulcerative Colitis affects the large intestine, which is made up of the rectum and colon. Only the inner lining ofthe bowel is inflamed.'
https://crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/understanding-IBD?fbclid=IwAR1gzXQNnsRSAUqS-1EP0yBNr8li3bw-CV5tHBlPE2EIWBGYyZVVdAmlgaI

CAUSES

Although the exact cause of UC is unknown, it is believed that genes, the immune system (such as an infection) and environmental factors can all trigger the disease. Hopefully with more research we will be able to identify the cause of the disease. NO IT IS NOT CAUSED BY BAD DIET THANK YOU VERY MUCH

SYMPTOMS

Although UC is active in the colon it actually affects the whole body which is not always understood by many people.

Symptoms vary from person to person but include abdominal pain, severe cramping, diarrhea/toilet trips up to 30 times a day, bleeding, fatigue, brain fog, sore joints, mouth ulcers and as well as all the physical implications, UC weighs a heavy burden on mental health.

DIAGNOSIS

A diagnosis for UC can be confirmed by a sigmoidoscopy or a colonoscopy where biopsies are taken and tested for the disease or infections. Doctors also test for the disease through blood and stool tests and x-rays.

TREATMENT

*5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA)- treatment begins with these medications (Tablet, Enema)

*The dreaded Cortisteroids- used as a short term treatment (2 weeks) if the disease is not under control with other medications. Steroids have many side effects and long term complications so are discouraged by doctors until absolutely necessary. Saying that I couldn’t count how many times I needed steroids to settle my inflammation- and it clearly wasn’t enough. (Tablets and IV)

Immunosuppressents- most popular being azathioprine (Tablets or liquid medicine)

Biologics- including humira, infliximab and vedolizumab- all drugs I received myself (Self injections into tummy or thigh and IV in the hospital every 6-8 weeks)

There is NO cure for UC or Crohn’s. Maybe with more fundraising and research we will one day get a cure for the 10 million people who suffer world wide

(after this many years i still have to google the spelling of diarrhea whoopsie)

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