From the Desk of Beth Battaglino, RN, CEO, HealthyWomen
It's a story I've heard far too often. Women suffering from symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) for years before receiving the correct diagnosis.
That was the case for Renika Wood, who told HealthyWomen, "By the time I was 27, I was so used to being sick that I knew no other way of life. I had chronic diarrhea and bouts of dramatic weight loss. I was often nauseated and fatigued, and my stomach was on fire with pain. Usually I just attributed the discomfort to stress. But that year my symptoms became so intense that I went to my primary care physician for bloodwork … And so my decade-long journey with Crohn's disease began."
IBD affects more than 3 million Americans with approximately 70,000 people receiving a diagnosis each year. The two most common forms are ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease, which can cause abdominal pain, chronic diarrhea, rectal bleeding, weight loss and fatigue. In more severe cases, patients can have continuous symptoms that interfere with daily life.
I'm thrilled that we've launched our new IBD education program, so you can learn to better manage and understand your symptoms, discover how IBD is diagnosed, and realize the importance of having good communication with your healthcare provider and being open about your symptoms.
You'll also hear from Tina Aswani Omprakash about how cultural stigma affected her journey with IBD and how she took control. "When I would discuss my condition, people within my culture told me, 'This is a diet disease. You did this to yourself with your poor lifestyle,'" she explains. "I never want anyone to suffer from the shame and stigma like I have, which is why I have become an advocate. IBD is a lifelong condition, but people do not need to suffer in silence."
I hope that you or a loved one will heed this advice and, like Renika and Tina, advocate for yourself to get the answers, health advice and treatment you need.
In good health,
This resource was created with support from Bausch Health, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Ferring Pharmaceuticals, Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A, Inc. and Medtronic
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Resource List
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition that affects the digestive system. The two most common forms are ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The resources below offer information regarding IBD symptoms, diagnosis, treatment and stories from women to help you make informed health decisions. For more information, be sure to contact your healthcare provider.
- From the Desk of Beth Battaglino, RN, CEO, HealthyWomen
- Fast Facts: What You Need to Know about Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- What You Need to Know About Inflammatory Bowel Disease: IBD affects more than 3 millions Americans. Here's what you need to know
- The Impact of IBD on Relationships, Sexual Health & Fertility
- After Years of Suffering and Shame, I'm Now a Proud Crohn's Warrior
- Taking Control of my Crohn's Disease
- Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis Don't Have to Rule Your Life
- Coronavirus and IBD: How I'm Navigating This Difficult Time