What is IBD?

I figured this should be my next post before I get into what happened to me last year.

IBD is Inflammatory Bowel Disease but it can be broken down into different groups; Crohn’s Disease & Colitis being the main two. Because I don’t know which one I have I can’t really specifically say what my symptoms relate to. Either way it ain’t nice. I’m no medical buff so I’m basically taking my information from online, yo Wiki do ya thang:

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the principal types of inflammatory bowel disease. It is important to note that not only does Crohn’s disease affect the small intestine and large intestine, it can also affect the mouth, esophagus, stomach and the anus whereas ulcerative colitis primarily affects the colon and the rectum.

In spite of Crohn’s and UC being very different diseases, both may present with any of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, severe internal cramps/muscle spasms in the region of the pelvis and weight loss. Anemia is the most prevalent extraintestinal complication of inflammatory bowel disease. Associated complaints or diseases include arthritis, pyoderma gangrenosum, primary sclerosing cholangitis, and non-thyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS). Associations with deep vein thrombosis (DVT) and bronchiolitis obliterans organizing pneumonia (BOOP) have also been reported. Diagnosis is generally by assessment of inflammatory markers in stool followed by colonoscopy with biopsy of pathological lesions.

Well wasn’t that lovely? Basically blood, pain & vomiting, sometimes in that order sometimes not. The only way to find out what you have is through a colonoscopy, a camera that goes up ya butt & round your intestines (your large one, not your small one as that would be impossible) & loads of blood tests. The problem with this disease is people are often too afraid to go to their doctors to check out what’s happening & that’s when complications happen (these can be irreversible complications or straight up deadly). There’s so much taboo around bowel movements but we all do it, even people with stoma bags, it just happens to come out from another area. So yeah sure it’s estimated that roughly 300,000 people in the UK have it (and on the increase) but you can bet your butt that it’s a higher number, people would rather go to the toilet 30 or 40 times a day than find out what they have & that ain’t right. I will admit I was a little bit ‘nah I ain’t talking about poop’ before falling ill but now I’m like ‘Hi stranger, let’s talk about poop.’ Hell if you’re a lil’ bit shy say ‘bowel movements (BMs)’, either way don’t let shyness be the reason that you end up shitting out your rotten intestines and dying.

It’s important to know that everyone is different with their disease (any disease for that matter), we all have different symptoms, different reasons for flare ups and different things that can put us into remission and that’s why I believe it’ll be hard to find a cure that works for everyone so for now it’s about managing the symptoms as best as possible. I take 3g of Salofalk granules every morning (they actually taste nice when I let them rest on my tongue) but I was on steroids when I was first diagnosed in the hospital, I was lucky that I had no vicious side effects but not everyone is lucky, it can range from chipmunk face (puffy cheeks) to brittle bones. The only side effect I had was needing to pee a lot and having a dodgy sleeping pattern but I could blame that on my dodgy sleeping pattern in hospital (I’ll get into that in my personal experience post, but I’ll say for now, oh boy was that 10 day hospital stay rough).

No one knows the reason behind IBD. It could be genetic, antibiotic abuse, the environment, stress … we don’t know! I don’t know why I have it. No one in my family has it (I think), although my grand-dad had bowel cancer (gotta be careful with IBD and bowel cancer) and my grandma had stoma bag fitted when she was in her late 60s but to this day I don’t know why that was (cancer? UC?), my mum has IBS (NOT THE SAME THING) … what I’m saying is my family don’t have the best intestines, lucky me. I do think back when I was a kid and how I suffered from constipation a lot (earliest memory? Sitting on the toilet drinking prune juice, I can still remember the taste), could that have been an early sign? I was given antibiotics a lot when I was younger as I suffered from ear ache constantly, was that a reason? In my late teens I had a bout of cystitis that wouldn’t go away and was given high doses of antibiotics for that, was that another reason? I suffer terribly from anxiety which means my stomach is in knots over the simplest things, did that bring on IBD? You can drive yourself insane by trying to think what happened but you know what? It has happened, there’s no turning back time, there’s nothing I can do about it.

Like I said, there is no cure. I don’t like it when people tell me they did X, Y & Z and boom they were cured, or ‘go vegan & you’ll be cured’ bish nah, if you really did come up with a cure my specialist who specialises in IBD, who is special, would have told me ‘Oh Kels, Dave from down the road who’s not a specialist said that if you eat a pine cone a day you’ll be cured! A medical miracle’. You’ve not been cured, you’ve been in remission and that’s a huge difference. I’d never knock something that helped you, hell I’d try it myself, just don’t say the ‘cured’ word. IT’S NOT A CURE! Some people are beyond help when it comes to medication, and sometimes it comes to the point where part (or all) of your intestine has to be removed (that’s not a cure either!), so you end up having your waste go into a bag that hangs outside, like a lil’ pouch. I take my hat off to those folks because I think they are the bravest people on the planet, that’s a huge operation and takes quite some getting used to. Although if you want to hear a good fact? Apparently there was a huge decrease in operations being done in 2016 which means they are managing the illness better than before. Yay! (I cannot find that damn article but I know I saw it as I discussed with my mother!). I’m not going to lie, I fear getting surgery in the future, I really do. I know it’s not the end of the world but it’s a great fear of mine, I may never need one or I may need millions; that’s one thing that bothers me a great deal with this disease, I don’t know what it’s going to be like for me, will I flare up never, will it be once or twice in my life time or will it be on going? I just have no clue.

I’ve yacked on too much and I don’t believe I really went into detail as to what IBD is, if you have it you know what it is, if you don’t & want more info? Google is your friend. I just want to say, let’s not make poop a taboop.





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