Recently Diagnosed with IBD? Navigating the Path Forward
Updated: Mar 29
Recently Diagnosed with Crohn’s or Ulcerative Colitis?
Have you recently been diagnosed with IBD (Crohn’s disease or UC)? No doubt you probably have a ton of questions, coupled with a decent amount of concern, uncertainty, and quite possibly fear. First of all, you are not alone. According to statistics from the Crohn's Colitis Foundation, approximately 1.6 million Americans currently live with IBD and as many as 70,000 new cases of IBD are diagnosed annually in the US.
What is IBD?
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term for two disorders that involve chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both chronic conditions cause damage to the GI tract as a result of from prolonged inflammation.
Ulcerative colitis (UC)
Ulcerative colitis involves inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the large intestine (colon) and rectum. Typically, the damaged areas are continuous (not patchy) and start at the rectum and spread through the GI tract to the colon. Inflammation happens within the innermost layer of the lining of the colon.
Crohn’s disease can impact any part of the GI tract--from the anus to the mouth. It is characterized by inflammation of the lining of the digestive system, often penetrating into deeper layers of the walls of the GI tract. Often the small intestine is affected before the colon and large intestine. Typically, the damaged areas appear in patches next to areas of healthy tissue.
Here with Aila Health, you have started a journey of self-discovery that will help you to cope with your disease and not just survive, but thrive.
Watch this Newly Diagnosed Webinar to get an overview of what you should know about living with IBD from a nurse and expert in the field of IBD. Topics include risk factors, treatment options, diet and nutrition, symptom management, disease complications, and more.
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Article written by: Shannon Sims, PhD
About the Author
Shannon Sims, PhD, Professor at Saybrook University’s College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences in the department of Mind-Body Medicine. Dr. Sims is also an integrative wellness coach and mind-body specialist with Aila Health where she focuses on supporting Long COVID and other chronic illness patients in their journey to greater wellness.
Important note: The article presented here is strictly intended for providing information about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified healthcare provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this or any other Aila Health information source. The opinions expressed in this (and all other) Aila articles are intended to spark insightful and educated discussion about issues pertaining to IBD.
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada (2021, May 25). About Crohn's & Colitis. https://crohnsandcolitis.ca
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (2021). The facts about Inflammatory Bowel Diseases. https://www.crohnscolitisfoundation.org/sites/default/files/2019-02/Updated%20IBD%20Factbook.pdf