Inflammatory bowel disease is the umbrella term used for ulcerative colitis, a condition touching the lives of more than 700, 000 Americans. What is worst about this conditions is that none seem to know much about it. Whether patient or a doctor. Though researchers may say lots, they know very little about this conditions. No one exactly knows the cause. Even the best of the specialist cannot predict the course of the disease. Hence, anyone living with ulcerative colitis has a hard time explaining to people around, at home, or at work.
It is More Than Abdominal Cramps
It would be wrong to think that it is just a gastrointestinal disease. It is a systemic auto-immune disorder. Systemic means that illness of the whole body. There is a range of inflammatory responses going on continually in the body. Some may have skin eruptions; others may have pain in joints and muscles. Chronic fatigue due to a combination of malnutrition and inflammatory responses is all too common. The prolonged disease may take its toll on bone health, and even on the ability to fight stress. Anxiety or depression become all too common.
It is Embarrassing to Accept
Surely not an easy thing to admit, diarrhea, unwarranted leakage, unpleasant sounds coming from tummy, all this is not easy to share with others. In some situation, it may become bit embarrassing. Sometimes there may be a need for surgery, and a part of intestine may be removed.
It is not IBS
Inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBS) is a widespread problem that touches at least one-fourth of adults in their lifetime. It may be caused due to stress in personal life, or at the job. However, IBD is entirely different and far more severe problem that may be debilitation or even life-threatening in some cases. IBS, on the other hand, may be chronic, but the far milder problem, that would not last long in most cases.
No One Should Be Telling What to Do
As with any chronic problem, people around (including the boss) would come out with so many innovative ideas and advice. However, IBD is complicated to treat condition even for the best of medical specialists. Thus advice given by peers or boss won’t do any good, except adding to the stress.
Every Case is Different
No two cases of IBD are similar. For some, it may have a milder course. Long-term remissions are not uncommon with the disease. For unlucky few, things may become dangerous from the very early phase leading to the surgery, and other complications.
It is Sometimes Sunny, Another Day Rainy
Like many of the autoimmune diseases, it is characterized by flares and remissions. However, the course of illness is entirely unpredictable. Thus a person may have weeks of diarrhea, followed by months of remission when a person is almost close to healthy. If a person has been healthy for a long time, it does not mean cured, as the condition may return without any apparent cause and warning.
There is Always a Hope
Science is making progress at very high pace. Researchers are confident that soon they would be able to solve the puzzle and find the treatment.