For the first time in its 47-year history, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America has awarded all three of its 2014 annual scientific achievement awards to research and academic luminaries at the Mount Sinai Health System. Read more
More than one million Americans suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD), primarily Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Affecting people of any age, race or gender, IBD causes chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract. Crohn’s can strike in any part of the system, while ulcerative colitis is only found in the large bowel. Patients’ symptoms vary widely, but the most common are diarrhea, abdominal pain or both.
As with many other digestive disorders, patients with IBD are constantly on a quest to find the right treatment regimen to relieve the symptoms that interfere with their everyday lives. This search for effective IBD treatments was one of the many topics my colleagues and I discussed during Digestive Disease Week® (DDW), the world’s largest gathering of physicians and researchers in the fields of gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery.
I recently attended a talk that I found inspiring and helpful, whether your personal challenge is inflammatory bowel disorder (IBD) or any other life issue. The point that the speaker made is simple, yet one that is worth sharing: It is to remember that everyone has a problem or difficulty of some sort to deal with.
For some, like the motivational speaker I heard, it happens to be a very visible physical disability; for others, like many of our IBD patients, it can often be hidden, an invisible illness. What is important to remember is that at the end of the day, we are all just people, not our illness. This goes along with my advice to parents of children diagnosed with IBD, that one of the best gifts you can offer your child is the gift of a normal happy life.