Wednesday April 16, 2014
April 16 is National Healthcare Decisions Day
. This is a day where adults are encouraged to plan for their future care by providing information about their wishes for their own healthcare. Having these plans in writing helps healthcare providers to care for a patient in the way that the patient prefers.
Why is this day important to you? With chronic conditions such as IBD, healthcare decisions may need to be made quickly. When patients provide that information in advance, healthcare providers can make choices for the patient that are in accordance with the patient's beliefs.
I encourage you to have an advance directive. I also hope you will speak with those closest to you about your wishes for your care, particularly as they relate to issues surrounding your IBD. This can include decisions about medications, surgery or surgical complications, and mental health care.
More about talking with your family about healthcare:
Monday April 14, 2014
Wanted: Kids between the ages of 11 and 17. Do you ever feel like you are the only teenager with an ostomy or j-pouch? Do you have questions and concerns that no one can help you answer -- because you don't know anyone else with an ostomy? Here is your chance to meet other kids at the 2014 Youth Rally
who are just like you, and have a great time doing it!
Friday April 11, 2014
Sleep can be a huge problem for people with IBD. And not just because of waking every few hours to go to the bathroom, although that's a large part of it. There may also be abdominal pain or night sweats. Some people find they suffer from insomnia because of drug side effects, or anxiety and restlessness. Working on developing better sleep habits for yourself can go a long way towards mitigating these problems that disrupt your sleep. Sleep is important, and most of us don't get enough, therefore it is worth taking the time to clean up sleep habits and get into a better pattern. What can you do to help yourself get restful sleep?
More on IBD and Sleep:
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Image © Lotus Head
Wednesday April 9, 2014
This sounds like a very serious question. And it is. We don't know what causes inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The theory right now is that IBD is caused by a combination of genetics and environment. You might carry the gene, and then something (or a combination of somethings) happens that flips the switch and turns on the IBD.
For me, IBD really runs in my family. I had a mysterious rash one year that we suspected was Lyme disease. I had spent the summer doing local "clean-ups" and had spent a fair amount of time running around in rivers, streams, fields, and wooded areas, so it was not an unreasonable suspicion. I was treated with antibiotics for suspected Lyme disease, and the next thing I knew, the symptoms of ulcerative colitis had set in that fall. I'll never know for sure what exactly caused my IBD, but it does seem as if the events of that summer had something to do with it.
How about you? What caused your IBD? Does it run in your family? Did you get diagnosed after a stressful event? Use the "comment" button below to tell me about it.