[Image shows a collage of various people, friends of mine, wearing purple and in the center reads “#WorldIBDday World IBD Day Crohnsandcolitis.org.uk 19.May.2016” ]
“As most of you know I was diagnosed with Crohns when I was 9 years old and I would not be the person I am without my illness. That being said, this same illness wrecks the lives of hundreds of thousands of people between harsh medication, surgeries, medical bills, feelings of isolation, and of course the actual symptoms of the illness. But it can also bring people closer together, make friendships, and start a change. I am Grace, I’m 18 (almost 19, I have an ileostomy, and I have Crohn’s disease. The disease may be invisible but I am not and I’m here to raise awareness. You can too by wearing purple for World IBD Day!” I posted on my social media on May 19, 2016 for World IBD Day. A day to recognize Crohn’s disease world wide and show that while the disease may be invisible the people who survive through it are not.
As part of World IBD Day friends of mine dressed in purple to show their support and spread awareness for IBD. I couldn’t have been happier with the results considering I had to actually to narrow down who all I could fit on the collage when it came down to it! I want to thank each and everyone of them who took the time to help me spread awareness of this disease whether you threw on a t-shirt, posed with a board with fact, or one of my friends even went through the entire process of putting her purple kimono for me. Each and everyone of you are amazing for helping me.
So for World IBD Day I am going to share some facts about Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis from CCFA:
- Crohn’s Disease can affect anywhere from mouth to anus.
- Ulcerative Colitis only affects the colon
- Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis are not the same thing.
- Approximately 1.6 million Americans currently have IBD, a growth of about 200,000 since the last time CCFA reported this figure (in 2011).
- There may be as many as 80,000 children in the United States with IBD.
- These chronic, life-long conditions can be treated but not cured. IBD can significantly affect a patient’s quality of life.
- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are inflammatory bowel diseases that cause chronic inflammation and damage in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.
Some of the symptoms of these diseases are:
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal bleeding
- Urgent need to move bowels
- Sensation of incomplete evacuation
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
- Night sweats
- Loss of normal menstrual cycle
- Joint pain
- Eye pain
Some of the Complications of IBD include:
- Heavy, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, and pain
- Perforated bowel—chronic inflammation of the intestine may weaken the intestinal wall to such an extent that a hole develops
- Toxic megacolon—severe inflammation that leads to rapid enlargement of the colon
- Fistula—ulcers on the wall of the intestine that extend and cause a tunnel (fistula) to another part of the intestine, the skin or another organ.
- Stricture—a narrowing of a section of intestine caused by scarring, which can lead to an intestinal blockage
- Abscess—a collection of pus, which can develop in the abdomen, pelvis, or around the anal area
- Perforated bowel—chronic inflammation of the intestine may weaken the wall to such an extent that a hole develops
- Malabsorption and malnutrition
- Eyes (redness, pain, and itchiness)
- Mouth (sores)
- Joints (swelling and pain)
- Skin (tender bumps, painful ulcerations, and other sores/rashes)
- Bones (osteoporosis)
- Kidney (stones)
- Liver (primary sclerosing cholangitis, hepatitis, and cirrhosis)—occurs rarely
For More IBD Fact Click Here!
And remember, while IBD may be invisible we are not!
[Image shows me sitting on my front porch from the chest up. I’m wearing a purple flowercrown in my short red hair, I have my black and green glasses on, NJ tube, and makeup. I’m wearing a purple shirt with a light purple heart and a dark purple ribbon on it for Crohn’s Disease.]