IBD, Crohn’s, Ulcerative Colitis, Oh My!? Hands up if you looked at your physician like you were in “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” when they first mentioned this disease to you ??
Okay, so the copious amounts of morphine probably helped a bit, but I still had no clue what the ever-loving hell this crazy woman was saying.
Read on for a super basic breakdown of IBD. We’ll get more in-depth in later posts, so stay tuned.
*Disclaimer: The information provided in these posts are presented solely for informational purposes. These posts are of my personal opinion. I am in no way a doctor and the information provided should not be relied on to suggest a course of treatment or as a substitute for the advice of a physician or qualified health care professional. Always check with your professional care team before applying any of these methods.*
What is IBD?
IBD stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Not to be confused with IBS, which stands for Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
A major, life-altering difference between the two; One can be “cured”, one cannot.
Care to take a guess as to which one? IBS can be controlled and even cured with proper diet and medication.
IBD is a chronic, incurable illness that affects multiple parts of the body and can often lead to further complications. Basically, you wouldn’t want to bring her home to mom.
Like the gift that keeps on giving, IBD can be described as Ulcerative Colitis, which only affects the large intestine, and Crohn’s disease, which affects anywhere along the digestive tract from the mouth to anus and can even affect your eyeballs ?
IBD: Ulcerative Colitis
Ulcerative Colitis is a form of IBD which affects the large intestine and tends to appear more uniform on scans. Associated symptoms include abdominal pain (imagine a spikey pufferfish in your belly) and cramping, the charlie horse that never ends. The list goes on to include diarrhea and/or constipation, bleeding, and mucus from the rectum, fatigue that feels like the plague, anemia that takes your breath away, and don’t be surprised if your joints start feeling like a pre-oiled Tin Man.
IBD: Crohn’s Disease
Ah yes, even the name just has a lovely ring to it (sorry Dr. Crohn). Crohn’s disease is like what happens when you scratch poison ivy. Instead of staying cozy in the colon, Crohn’s is the Columbus of IBD trying to explore a new land. Now please don’t mistake my sarcasm, CROHNS DISEASE IS NOT CONTAGIOUS. You won’t catch it from reading my blog. I just mean that it can cover a larger area (your entire digestive tract). Crohn’s also appears more patchy on medical scans, another difference from Ulcerative Colitis.
Symptoms are unfortunately similar to those listed for UC. Maybe throw in a few mouth sores and fistulas (I’ll talk more about that here).
IBD: Layman’s terms
Your immune system has a defect. It views anything in your intestinal system like those little green guys from “Mars Attacks” (including itself; masochistic little f****). So rather than allow you to enjoy your food in peace, the little alien laser beams are attacking everything and there is a War of the Worlds going on in your stomach; Cloverfield style.
IBD: *FUN FACT*
The scene from the movie “Alien”, the best scene ever, when the Alien burst’s through the character’s chest, exploding its guts and glory all over fellow cast members, yea that one. That scene was written by a writer struggling with Crohn’s and trying to describe the pain he was in every day. Might I say; Well done Sir.
My Favorite Part About Blogging…
Now I want to know what you think! Any questions, comments, concerns? Possible movie references with which I dated myself? I want to hear it all! We do this really cool thing here at The Lemon Blog where we really only like to write for our readers. So if there is something you’d like to see, odds are pretty good we’ll post about it (keep it clean, kids).
-Lover of Lemons, First of her name,