There are two different types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease. Currently in the UK it is estimated that 620,000 people are affected by IBD. In Australia it is estimated that 75,000 people are affected by IBD and in America it is estimated that approximately 1.6 million people are affected. Worldwide the amount of people affected by IBD is extensive.
When I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis at 15 years old I had no idea what that meant and I am sure that so many people still don’t understand what it is. So what is it and what are the symptoms? Colitis is a condition that causes inflammation and ulceration and is found in the Colon (large intestine) and rectum. Ulcers develop on the lining of the bowel and bleed and also produce mucus. Inflammation generally starts in the rectum and lower colon however the disease can affect the entire large bowel resulting in total Colitis.This is a condition that is incurable however it can be controlled by certain drugs depending on the severity. If severe you may be offered surgery as was the case with me.
With all illnesses everybody is different therefore many people experience different symptoms with IBD. The symptoms can change, be severe or even mild depending on the extent of the disease and you as a person. In my case the symptoms that I had with the disease were severe and as I have mentioned in the page About Me medications were tried but unsuccessful and surgery was the best course of action.
- Abdominal Pain
- Stomach cramps
- Weight Loss
- Blood & Mucous in stools
If you have read the About Me page you will know that when I was 18 years old I was re-diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. So what is Crohn’s Disease? Crohn’s Disease is a condition that causes inflammation of the gut and can affect any part of the digestive system. Crohn’s Disease Is commonly found to affect the ileum (the last area of the Small Bowel) again the same as Ulcerative Colitis this is an incurable disease but can be controlled with certain drugs depending on the severity. Large or small patches of inflammation can be found in the gut. They can affect the lining of the bowel and sometimes can go deeper into the wall of the bowel. When I was re-diagnosed with Crohn’ s Disease I was able to view the areas of inflammation within my small intestine & J pouch. The areas of infected bowel were extensive hence why I became very ill and had my Total Colectomy.
As I have said above we are all individuals and IBD will affect one person differently to another. Again the symptoms with Crohn’s Disease can change from mild to severe. When I was re-diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease my symptoms were extensive and I was very ill. I lost count of the different drugs I was tried on & all the investigations & surgery’s that I had.
- Abdominal Pain
- Weight Loss
- Mouth Ulcers
We are very fortunate to have so many support groups and so much information online I have gained lots of information and research from the internet. The site links to this information are listed below, they are very helpful and useful offering advice, medical information as well as support. I wish that all this information and awareness was available when I first became ill in the 80’s. In several of my other posts I will be sharing how I cope with everyday life with a Stoma and Crohn’s Disease. Do click on the links below and have a read of what the professionals have to say.