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, is an integrative wellness coach and mind-body specialist with Aila Health where she focuses on supporting Long Covid and other chronic illness warriors in their journey to greater wellness. Dr. Sims is also a professor at Saybrook University’s College of Integrative Medicine and Health Sciences in the Department of Mind-Body Medicine.
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