Digestive Health Newsletter

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IBD and Patient Responsibilities
January 27, 2015
Betty White, C-NP, contributions by Susan Perry
Managing Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is likely to be an ongoing process that requires a collaborative team of healthcare specialists. You, of course, are the “quarterback” of that team, but to ensure the very best outcomes for your health, everybody must work together. As in any kind of collaborative effort, you — and your team — will be most effective if you understand both your rights and your responsibilities.

IBD and Patient Rights
November 24, 2014
Betty White, C-NP and Keren Price, MS, RD
Your health is a partnership between you and your healthcare providers. This is especially true when you have a condition like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), since you probably work with a team of providers who help guide you to optimal health. In essence, you are like a quarterback, leading your team to help you achieve your health-related goals. It is important to remember that every member of your team has rights and responsibilities. This newsletter will focus on your rights, and the next issue will focus on your responsibilities.

IBD and Your Joints
September 03, 2014
Jonathan Levine, MD
Joint problems are among the most common 'extraintestinal' symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Two types of joint problems can occur in people with IBD: inflammatory arthritis and arthraliga (joint pain without inflammation). Arthralgia is more common, affecting up to half of people with IBD at some point during the course of their disease. Arthritis affects up to 20 percent of people with Crohn's disease (CD) and about 10 percent of those with ulcerative colitis.

IBD and Vaccinations
June 13, 2014
Francis A. Farraye, MD, MSc
Vaccinations play an important role in preventing illness, and that is especially true when you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Living with IBD may increase your risk for infection, so it is important to make sure you are up to date with your vaccinations to reduce your risk of preventable infections. Most people with IBD can receive the same vaccines recommended for the general population. This newsletter will review why vaccines are important and discuss special considerations when you have IBD.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Skin Conditions
April 25, 2014
Jonathan Levine, MD
When you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you may have symptoms that occur outside of your gastrointestinal system. Approximately 25% to 40% of people with IBD experience these “extraintestinal” complications, which can affect almost any part of the body.(1) IBD-related skin conditions affect an estimated 2% to 34% of people with IBD.(2) Only about 5% experience multiple skin conditions, and about 10% to 15% experience a skin condition along with another type of extraintestinal complication.

Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month
March 20, 2014
Salix Pharmaceuticals, Inc
Are you at risk for Colorectal Cancer? Find CRC signs, symptoms, & important resources in this issue of Your Digestive Health Patient Newsletter

The Scoop on the Scope
November 11, 2013
Lawrence Cohen, MD
Colorectal cancer, the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States, is largely a preventable disease—all it takes is having a colonoscopy.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Restroom Access
September 26, 2013
David T. Rubin, MD
When inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is active, it can be accompanied by an urgent need to use the bathroom. This is due to a combination of diarrhea and bleeding, as well as the inability of the rectum to stretch or store waste as effectively as it should. When this occurs, there is cramping and pain with the urgency to evacuate. It is a terrible feeling and the loss of control is one of the hardest frustrations about IBD. Although the goal for all of our patients is stable remission, it is important to have strategies to cope with your condition when it is active, so you do not feel socially isolated. When the disease is active or when you feel that your control is unpredictable, the thought of leaving your home can become a daunting prospect, in part because it may be a challenge to find a restroom quickly when you are out and about. Although there are bathrooms in almost every place of business, they are often for employee use only and not available to the public. The good news is that a number of states have passed Restroom Access Acts—legislation that helps make venturing out from home a little easier.

Know Your Rights: Chronic Illness, IBD, and Employment
July 24, 2013
Jennifer C. Jaff, Esq, as updated by Eileen F. Swan, Esq
More than 133 million Americans have at least 1 chronic illness. Of those, approximately 1.4 million Americans have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As is the case with many chronic illnesses, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis can occur in conjunction with other equally debilitating diseases. Most prevalent among these are the mental health disorders of depression and anxiety, which are more frequently diagnosed in patients with a recent diagnosis of IBD than they are in the general population. A primary focus of federal law, such as the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), has been on individuals with a single defining disability and the extent to which they qualify for protection and services. This article will focus on some of the employment-related questions you may have if you or a loved one has been diagnosed with both IBD and some form of depression or anxiety.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Eye Complications
May 23, 2013
Jonathan Levine, MD
If you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and some of the symptoms you experience are unrelated to your digestive system, you are not alone. These "extraintestinal" complications occur in 25% to 40% of people with IBD and can affect almost any part of the body.<sup>1</sup> This newsletter will focus specifically on IBD-related eye complications, which affect approximately 4% to 12% of people with IBD.<sup>2</sup> The good news is that most of these complications are treatable and do not threaten your vision.

Seeking Care at a Specialized IBD Treatment Center
March 11, 2013
Keren Price, MS, RD
Every patient with a medical condition wants to find the best possible care, knowing that a partnership with a supportive, experienced doctor can make a world of difference to their health and well-being. This is certainly true of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which can be particularly challenging for patients to live with and for doctors to treat. Because IBD is such a complex disease, patients with severe cases of IBD should look for an experienced specialist who is familiar with all treatment options, is alert for complications, and knows when surgery is necessary.

Sailing Through the Holidays With Inflammatory Bowel Disease
December 05, 2012
Keren Price, MS, RD
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can make everyday life a challenge. Add holiday shopping, decorating, socializing, and travel to the mix, and you may start feeling like January cannot come soon enough. This issue of Your Digestive Health will focus on steps you can take to celebrate what matters as the year comes to a close.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Dehydration
September 13, 2012
Brian Bosworth, MD
Just because you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) does not mean you will experience dehydration, but IBD can increase your risk. About 65% of your body weight is water and if this level drops by only a few percent, you can become dehydrated.

In Sickness and in Health: Tips for IBD Patient Caregivers
July 09, 2012
Sharon Dudley-Brown, PhD, FNP-BC
Learning that your spouse or another family member has inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may evoke a range of emotions, including shock, fear, and anger. But the more you know about the steps you can take to help your loved one control and manage IBD, the more you will both feel a sense of control and enjoy a better quality of life. This issue of Your Digestive Health will address some of the common questions you may have when a family member is diagnosed with IBD.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Health Insurance
April 13, 2012
Jennifer C. Jaff, Esq, and Michael D. Kappelman, MD, MPH
If you or someone you know has inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), navigating today's plethora of health insurance plans may seem like a challenge. This issue of Your Digestive Health will answer some of the most frequently asked questions about health insurance. Whether you're interested in the difference between an HMO and a PPO or have questions about preexisting conditions, we've got you covered.

Virtual Colonoscopy
March 02, 2012
Brooks D. Cash, MD, FACG, AGAF
This issue of the newsletter will focus on virtual colonoscopy. Virtual colonoscopy uses a CT scanner to noninvasively create images of your colon. Like conventional colonoscopy, it can also be used to detect polyps (precancerous growths), cancer, and other diseases of the large intestine.

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