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Cannabinoid Combo Therapy Ended Teen’s Bowel Disease Symptoms, Study Reports

A 13-year-old boy whose Crohn’s disease and colitis had failed to respond to standard treatments became symptom-free with a combo therapy that included cannabinoids, the cannabinoid therapy maker Vitality Biopharma reported.

The study is one of the first to show that cannabinoids can eliminate inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms in a child or young adult resistant to other therapies, the company said. The research, “Induction of Remission in Drug-Resistant Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease with Cannabinoid Therapy,” has yet to be published in a medical journal.

The boy received medical cannabis under California’s Compassionate Use Act. Vitality played no role in the treatment, according to a press release.

The boy was diagnosed at age 9 with Crohn’s disease and mild-to-moderate colitis, and was hospitalized on several occasions. He had a poor appetite, which led to weight loss and stunted growth, and failed to respond to conventional IBD treatments.

Although he did respond initially to the TNF-α inhibitor Remicade (infliximab), it failed to help after a few weeks. “Temporary symptomatic benefit was observed, but quickly dissipated,” the researchers reported.

His level of calprotectin — a sign of bowel disease in children — rose again despite treatment throughout 2015. Improvements in calprotectin level suggest disease-modifying activity as well as symptom relief, the researchers noted.

In February 2016, the boy started taking a combination of Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol (THC) and cannabidiol (CBD) three times a day. The 3-mg doses of each therapy turned him around, researchers said.

“The patient and family reported almost immediate symptomatic improvement, with increased appetite and body weight, reduced inflammatory scores, and induction of remission,” the study reported.

Importantly, the combo treatment ended his Crohn’s after just a month, researchers said. The key evidence was that his calprotectin scores dropped from 2,000 μg/g to 86 μg/g.

A marker of inflammation known as the C-reactive protein level fell to zero, researchers added. Doctors began reducing his Remicade and ended it altogether in January 2017.

At that point, the patients was “in complete remission, with no Crohn’s disease symptoms, and has been in clinical remission for more than a year,” the team wrote.

Researchers said that to their knowledge it was the first case of fecal calprotectin levels correlating “well with the presence of endoscopic lesions” and with decreased calprotectin levels correlating “with healing of the gut mucosal lining in both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Based on these findings, we expect that treatment of local gut inflammation with cannabinoids may not only resolve symptoms of IBD but also achieve disease modification by inducing and maintaining remission.”

The team plans to submit the report for publication, perhaps with additional case studies of the combo treatment.

Source:ibdnewstoday.com

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10 Ways Chronic Illness Has Made Me a Better Version of Myself

Everyone’s chronic illness journey is different. Each person touched with the “spoonie” brush has experienced different diagnoses, time periods of illness, symptoms, medications, emotions, healthcare plans, doctors, surgeries and prognoses. One thing that each of us may likely have in common though is the experience of some kind of evolution – a growing or changing of identity as who we are as individuals is impacted forever. I stress though that I am not referring to a change from a healthy person to a sick person, as who we truly are is certainly not defined by a diagnostic label. The evolution I refer to is the growth we experience within ourselves as the hardships we endure begin to alter our perceptions of our lives. Whilst our physical selves may seem to run at a loss as we experience pain, weakness, fatigue, surgery or medication side effects on a daily basis, I truly believe that who we are on the inside is largely enhanced and improved by the struggle.

My chronic illness journey began about 12 years ago when, at 17 years old, I began to experience some stomach issues that were identified as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). These symptoms would come and go, “flaring” on occasion. Experiencing recurrent bouts of anxiety meant that many of my symptoms were often linked to my stress levels or even to hyperawareness of my own body. Over the years, I continued to lose small amounts of weight. Following my father’s death from cancer in early 2015, the symptoms began to worsen but were again put down to the stress of his passing. It was lucky that an unrelated gynecological ultrasound detected several swollen loops of small bowel in my lower abdomen that warranted further investigation. One colonoscopy and CT scan later, I was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s disease. After managing my new-found lactose intolerance, intestinal stricture and small-bowel inflammation with diet, short-term Prednisone and long-term Azathioprine therapy, the gynecological issues I had had previously began to exasperate. It was time for the laparoscopy that had long been on the cards. Just two months ago, it was confirmed that I also have endometriosis. Extensive adhesions were found throughout my abdomen (caused either by the Crohn’s, endo or both) and what could be treated was removed during a three-hour surgery. And that brings us to now – and so the journey continues!

When I reflect on my story so far, I notice how far I have actually come, not only in terms of my physical health, but mostly in terms of my mental and emotional well-being. My experiences are certainly none that I would wish upon anybody; however, I am quickly learning the importance of not resenting or begrudging them. One of my favorite quotes is: “We cannot change the cards we are dealt, just how we play the hand.” Acceptance of our journey as “spoonies” is what allows us to open ourselves up to learn from it and see a positive side to everything we go through (even if not straight away). The lessons I have learned already are countless, but for the sake of this blog, I have come up with a list of 10 that I feel have changed me the most and have helped to put me on a path to becoming a better version of myself.

1. Always be grateful.

No matter how sick you may feel at any given time, appreciate that you are alive and that there is so much in your life to be thankful for. Take time to practice gratitude.

2. Never underestimate your strength.

Sometimes we are unaware of how strong we really are until we are truly tested. Our bravery and persistence cannot fully be realized until we experience fear and challenges. When you learn that you can survive more than you ever thought you could, it’s a pretty amazing feeling.

3. Grow your resilience.

Each hurdle thrown your way may be difficult for a time, but each boundary is growing your ability to recover. You have survived everything you’ve been through to date. Remember this (as well as the strategies that have worked for you) for next time. You will need them again.

4. Your energy and “healthy times” are precious.

When you only have so many “spoons” for each day, savor them and use them wisely. You can never be sure when your next flare-up of symptoms will be, so make the most of the time that you have feeling well. Know the limits of your spoonie body. Listen to it when it tells you to stop.

5. It’s OK to be selfish sometimes.

Take time for yourself without guilt or reservation. If you need a rest, take it. If you want to pamper yourself, do it. Cancel some plans. Learn to say no. You might resent it at first, but you will thank yourself later.

6. There’s something to be learned in every hardship.

In every struggle, find the hidden message. There is always something positive to be gained, no matter how small. Learn. Grow.

7. Take care of your body.

Love, nourish and care for your body for what it is. Never resent it or wish it were something more. It is what it is and it shouldn’t be “blamed” for its shortcomings. Bring your mind and body back together as one. Do some yoga. Love yourself.

8. Educating yourself is important.

Read extensively and critically. Research everything. Know your disease, medication and body inside out. Alleviate some anxiety by being more informed. If something doesn’t seem right, ask questions. Find as many ways to help yourself as possible.

9. Cherish those who support you.

Notice who checks in with you when you’re unwell. Identify who you can talk to about your health and who seems to feel uncomfortable discussing it. It may be that that aspect of your life is just too much for some people to deal with. Accept that, and surround yourself with the right support when you need it. Join a support group. Follow Instagram pages that inspire you. Read a blog. You aren’t alone. There are people who understand.

10. Be positive – always.

There is always beauty in the battle. Perhaps we have been given our journeys to teach us more about who we are and to change our perspectives. Maybe being unwell has made us more grateful for the days we feel good, which many may take for granted. Perhaps we have been enlightened by the understanding that good health (and our lives) are fleeting, and now know that each day truly is a blessing.

As I said from the outset, everyone’s chronic illness journey is different. The lessons I have learned so far may be very different from yours. Whatever our experiences may be, I hope we can all learn something, grow ourselves and find the positives within the journey. Whilst we will always experience sad and negative feelings along the way, it is important that we acknowledge our frustrations but be willing to let them go. It is by letting go of the bad that we make room for something better and, ultimately, someone better. If the “beauty in the battle” refers to the silver linings that emerge from our struggles, know that the greatest “beauty” to come out of your journey will likely be you.

Source:themighty

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History of Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a condition that causes the lining of the gastrointestinal tract to become inflamed. Any part of the tract may be affected, although it usually occurs in the ileum (last part of small intestine) or the colon. The condition usually affects individuals between the ages of 15 and 40 and common symptoms include the following:

  • Diarrhea
  • Anemia
  • Abdominal pain
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Blood in stool
  • Mucus in stool

 

Individuals with Crohn’s may experience long periods of remission, where they have no symptoms or only very mild symptoms. This may then be followed by a “flare up” where symptoms return and can be particularly severe. For some people, symptoms may be absent for the majority of their lives, while others have a chronic and severe form of the condition where symptoms persist and never resolve.

Crohn’s disease is named after the famous gastroenterologist, Dr. Burill Crohn. It first became regarded as a medical condition when it was described by Crohn and colleagues in 1932. However, the first explanation of Crohn’s was given by Giovanni Battista Morgagni, an Italian physician who diagnosed a patient suffering from a debilitating and long-term disease that caused diarrhea.

Further instances were described by John Berg in 1898 and by Antoni Lesniowski in 1904. in 1913, Kennedy Dalziel also reported on the condition at a British Medical Association meeting and the paper was published in the BMJ.

Physicians examining patients with the condition could clearly see the inflammation in the digestive system and patients, especially young adults, who had the disease during the 1920s and 1930s usually experienced diarrhea, weight loss, and abdominal cramps.

In 1923, physicians identified 12 individuals at the Mt Sinai Hospital, New York, who also presented with these sorts of symptoms and in 1930, Dr, Crohn noticed that two of his patients had similar problems. In May 1932, Dr. Crohn and two colleagues presented an article on the condition “Terminal Ileitis,” in which they described the characteristics of Crohn’s disease to the American Medical Association (AMA).

The AMA then published the piece later the same year in JAMA, as a landmark paper entitled “Regional Ileitis: A Pathologic and Chronic Entity.” This happened to be a time when people in the field of medicine were particularly interested in novel discoveries.

In contrast to the 1913 BMJ paper by Dalziel, the paper by Dr. Crohn and colleagues was given significant recognition. Crohn happened to be the first author named on the paper (as a result of alphabetical order, rather than a reflection of contribution) and his name was used to refer to the disease itself after people read about the condition in a popular medical journal for the first time.

Source:news-medical.net

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Symptoms and treatments : How to deal with Crohn’s disease

Living with medical conditions such as coeliac disease or high cholesterol is thankfully getting easier as supermarkets devote whole aisles to gluten-free and low-saturated-fat products. At least 115,000 people in the UK are living with Crohn’s but treating the condition (and eating the right foods to prevent recurring inflammation) isn’t easy.

That’s probably why so many callers to the main support and self-help group Crohn’s & Colitis UK ring them with questions about what to eat. What happens when you have Crohn’s?

It’s an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation in the lining of the digestive system. It can damage any part of the digestive system from the mouth to the back passage, although it’s most likely to affect the later sections of the small intestine (ileum) or large intestine (colon).

Who gets it and why? You’re most likely to develop Crohn’s in your late teens or during your 20s, or once you’re over 60. The reason isn’t clear but research suggests a combination of factors, including genetics and immunity issues that attack healthy gut bacteria.

Living with medical conditions such as coeliac disease or high cholesterol is thankfully getting easier as supermarkets devote whole aisles to gluten-free and low-saturated-fat products. At least 115,000 people in the UK are living with Crohn’s but treating the condition (and eating the right foods to prevent recurring inflammation) isn’t easy.

That’s probably why so many callers to the main support and self-help group Crohn’s & Colitis UK ring them with questions about what to eat. What happens when you have Crohn’s?

It’s an autoimmune condition that causes inflammation in the lining of the digestive system. It can damage any part of the digestive system from the mouth to the back passage, although it’s most likely to affect the later sections of the small intestine (ileum) or large intestine (colon).

Who gets it and why? You’re most likely to develop Crohn’s in your late teens or during your 20s, or once you’re over 60. The reason isn’t clear but research suggests a combination of factors, including genetics and immunity issues that attack healthy gut bacteria.

How is it diagnosed?Symptoms can vary from person to person and often mimic other conditions such as appendicitis or irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It can start like a stomach upset with sufferers experiencing cramps, diarrhoea or constipation. Blood tests check for signs of infection and inflammation while stool tests help eliminate such things as parasitic infections. Referral to a gastroenterologist is normal where further tests, such as a colonoscopy (testing the inner lining of your gut), are carried out for a firm diagnosis.

How is it treated?

Crohn’s is characterised by symptoms known as flare-ups. While there’s no cure the disease can be managed with medication and sometimes surgery, as well as diet and lifestyle changes to give sufferers long periods of remission from flare-ups.

Crohn’s treatments (such as immunosuppressants) aren’t without their own problems and side effects so doctors aim to reduce the dose when symptoms improve and to help sufferers search for other ways to stay symptom-free. This is where a careful diet comes into its own. Treatments Steroids can improve symptoms, or surgery may be needed to remove the inflamed section of the gut.

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Some researchers are now looking at the link between diet and inflammatory bowel disease closely

The link with dietWe do know some foods can make symptoms worse and that it’s a more common problem in the West, in women and white people. Some researchers are now looking at the link between diet and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) more closely, having seen the incidence rising in Japan in line with their increasingly Westernised diet.

Other studies have looked at diets high in red meat, fat and sugars and diets low in fibre.

According to Isobel Mason, a consultant nurse specialising in gastroenterology who works with Crohn’s & Colitis UK, what to eat is high on the list of sufferers’ concerns. Find your triggers Isobel explains that the challenge for anyone with Crohn’s is to identify and avoid problem foods while ensuring they eat a diet that delivers all the nutrients they need.

Keep a food diary listing exactly what you’ve eaten and any symptoms. A registered dietitian will then advise whether an elimination diet is worthwhile and guide you through reintroducing these foods after a short time to see if the symptoms recur or abate.WHAT SHOULD YOU eat?

Fruit and veg: Foods rich in insoluble fibre such as wheat bran, nuts, seeds and beans are often excluded from Crohn’s diets as they trigger symptoms. But some fibre is essential for a healthy gut and fruit and veg are an important source. Include some soluble fibre, such as cooked veg, soft fruits and oatmeal.

Protein-rich foods: If red or gristly meat, beans and chickpeas are trigger foods for you, get your protein hit from steamed fish, eggs and puréed pulses (hummus). Milk and dairy: If lactose is a trigger, opt for unsweetened alternatives such as fortified almond or soya milk with added calcium. Some starchy carbs: But take care not to rely on them to fill the gap left by your trigger foods.

Fix your diet deficiencies Sufferers of the disease can have problems digesting and absorbing food as a result of inflammation in the small intestine, so vitamin and mineral deficiencies may occur. Iron: The most common deficiency.

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It is useful to keep a food diary

It can result in anaemia which causes tiredness, shortness of breath on mild exertion, poor concentration and headaches. Fix it: Lean red meat, oily fish, eggs, pulses, fortified breakfast cereals and green leafy veg give us iron.Foods rich in vitamin C such as citrus fruits, berries and green veg help the body absorb iron from non-meat sources. Vitamin D: Studies show vitamin D deficiency may result in more admissions to hospital and an increased need for surgery.

Fix it: Good sources of vitamin D include oily fish, eggs and fortified foods. The Department of Health now recommends everyone considers taking a 10mcg vitamin D supplement. Research has shown that supplements of vitamin D may reduce Crohn’s flare-ups.

Calcium: Some sufferers find they can’t consume dairy products because of lactose intolerance. Low calcium intakes can have long-term effects on bone health, increasing the risk of osteoporosis. Fix it: Calcium is also found in green leafy veg, pulses, nuts and seeds.If dairy is a trigger, lactose-free milk is now readily available and has all the calcium of regular milk. Or try unsweetened almond products or soya with added calcium. Where to get help Crohn’s & Colitis UK is a national charity with 50 local groups throughout the UK. It supports anyone affected by inflammatory bowel disease.

Source:express.co.uk

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Crohn’s disease and Colitis: Major study could reveal what triggers painful flare-ups

Symptoms include severe abdominal cramps, diarrhoea, nausea and tiredness that can affect all aspects of every day life for men and women.

People with debilitating bowel conditions are being invited to take part in a study to better understand what causes the diseases to worsen.

Flare-ups can include diarrhoea, rectal bleeding, urgent bowel movements, constipation, abdominal cramps and pain, fever, fatigue and weight loss.

Researchers want to find the everyday factors that influence flare-ups of Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, and investigate how changes in diet and lifestyle might help sufferers.

The study will collect information from 1,500 patients.

Dr Charlie Lees, chief investigator, said: “Patients often ask us whether there are any changes to their diet or lifestyle that would help to better manage their symptoms.

“We hope the findings from this study will give us the evidence base needed to provide better advice for those living with these debilitating diseases.”

Participants will be asked to complete online questionnaires about their eating, exercise and sleeping habits and monitor feelings of stress and anxiety.

Crohn's and colitis: Diet can have a major impact on the disease

Crohn’s and colitis: Diet can have a major impact on the disease

They will also be asked to provide mouth swabs and stool samples so researchers can analyse their DNA and examine bacteria living in their gut.

Those taking part will provide monthly updates for two years, detailing how well their symptoms are being controlled and any significant events.

Experts will compare information from those who experience flare-ups with those who do not.

Researchers said they hope to pinpoint everyday factors that could contribute to the onset of symptoms.

Crohn's disease: The condition can cause painful symptoms

Crohn’s disease: The condition can cause painful symptoms

Current treatments are focused on alleviating the symptoms but patient responses vary. There is no cure.

Called PREdiCCt, (Prognostic effect of environmental factors in Crohn’s and colitis), the study is led by the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian and is recruiting patients from Scotland and England.

Researchers from the University of Aberdeen will provide expertise in diet and nutrition plus analysis of participants’ gut bacteria.

The study is funded by the charities Cure Crohn’s Colitis, and Crohn’s and Colitis in Childhood, and the Scottish Government’s Chief Scientist Office.

Source:express.co.uk