Saturday, December 13, 2008

Inflammatory Bowel Disease 101

So I realize that because Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) and J-pouches are such a huge part of my day-to-day living, that I often use terms and words that probably mean absolutely nothing to normal people. I thought it might be helpful if I did a post on my most commonly used terms. So here is your IBD 101 (if I do not answer one of your questions, please feel free to post a comment on this post and I'll answer it in the next post)

First of all the, diagram to the left is a picture of a normal person's digestive tract. I'll be linking to a set of diagram's that shows my new "special" plumbing system -- otherwise known as the j-pouch. (When looking at the diagram to the left, I no longer have most of my rectum, the entire colon or the appendix.)

Here are some definitions:
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) -- IBD (which is NOT the same thing as irritable bowel syndrome or IBS) refers to two chronic diseases that cause inflammation of the intestines: ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Although the diseases have some features in common, there are some important differences.
Ulcerative Colitis -- is an inflammatory disease of the large intestine, also called the colon. In UC, the inner lining of the colon becomes inflamed and develops ulcers. 
Crohn's Disease -- CD differs from UC in the areas of the bowel it involves, it most commonly affects the last part of the small intestine (the terminal ileum) and parts of the colon. However, CD isn't limited to these areas and can attach any part of the digestive tract. CD causes inflammation that extends much deeper into the layers of the intestinal wall than UC. 
J-pouch -- Click here for a good overview of the j-pouch surgery (or the technical term Ileoanal Reservoir Surgery) See here for diagrams 
Autoimmune Disease arise from an overactive immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body. In other words, the body attacks its own cells. This may be restricted to certain organs (i.e. the colon) or involve a particular tissue in different places. Nearly 79% of autoimmune disease patients in the USA are women. Also they tend to appear during or shortly after puberty.

Here is a good discussion topic from It discusses the topic of how to address people's comments on what people who suffer from IBD could have done to prevent it. (This is not a preventable disease, it is NOT something people who suffer from it did to themselves, it is an autoimmune disease just like MS, Rheumatoid Arthritis, Lupus, etc.)

Well that's a good intro course. Again, if there's something you don't understand or still want to know, please feel free to ask me in the comment section. Class dismissed! 


Lauren said...

Oh man. That makes me sad you have to go through that.Thank you for the informative post.

JMcCall said...

Just a fast Merry Xmas have a great time and may I wish your days come easy and moments pass slow. and each row leads you where you want to go . And if your face whit a choice and you have to choose the one that means the most to you .

J McCall