The truth about IBD<guid

by Symptom Advice on January 2, 2012

Let’s face it, there are some things in life that are just plain hard to share and talk about, even to close friends, family and coworkers.

Due to feelings of embarrassment and shame, chronic diseases such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis go unacknowledged and continue to negatively affect millions of lives.

these diseases, also known as Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), can harm one’s ability to lead a normal life both socially and physically.

Jo Bloom, an IBD support group facilitator in Las Cruces since 2006, said she has seen people of all different ages and backgrounds feel “isolated and alone” from being unaware of what is happening or what to do.

“People just want to be able to talk about it, share horror stories and share the small victories,” Bloom said.

there is no known cause or cure of these chronic intestinal disorders, but it is manageable and treatable on an individual basis.

In addition to discussing the everyday dealings with IBD, Bloom said the support group members discuss doctors and treatments that have worked for them, and may be helpful to others.

“the first thing I would tell someone who has IBD is to keep a food chart,” Bloom said. “Eating the right foods won’t make it go away, but eating the wrong foodscan make it worse.”

the most common symptoms people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis suffer from are frequent and uncontrollable bowel movements as well as excruciating intestinal pain.

according to the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA), IBD is a biological disorder, which is not caused by emotions such as anxiety and stress, although these factors may worsen symptoms.

Las Cruces resident Carmella Myers was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 2001, and started attending the support groups, where she said she was more optimistic than most.

“I just see so many other things like cancer and lung disease that can kill people,” Myers said. “as far as I know, I’m not going to die from this, because it is treatable.”

unfortunately, Myers said, it is younger people who don’t deal with the issue well and need the most help and support.

“Parents will come with their children to seek help, and it’s really comforting for them to be open and frank about what is happening,” Myers said.

according to Bloom, finding the right doctor to create an appropriate treatment plan is just as important as telling the people in your life what is happening.

“unfortunately, it can be a very expensive disease because you can’t just go (to the doctor) once and find your magic cure,” Bloom said. “everyone is different.”

the ulcerative colitis andCrohn’s disease support group meets from 3 to 5 p.m. the second Sunday of each month in the Community Education room ofMountainView Regional Medical Center.

For more information about IBD, visit

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