Monday, 15 December 2008

Children with Chrons Disease Helped with Growth Hormone

Kids with Chrons disease can experience stunted growth, which at this very important period of their lives can have huge implications. Now according to a US report, it may be possible that some shots with a growth hormone may help children with Chrons disease with a growth spurt as well as improve bone mineralisation and body composition.

Encouraging Results
For the duration of 1 year at the University of California San Francisco, Dr. Melvin B. Heyman and his and colleagues treated 10 Children with Chrons Disease all aged between 4 and 19 years old with daily shots of the growth hormone. In this small study, there were shown to be healthy gains in bone mineralization at the lumbar spine as well as the average percent of body fat decrease in the children, this would indicate an increase in lean body mass.

With the growth hormone, the average height of the children increased from 3.00cm per year at the outset to 8.32cm per year after the 1 year of treatment, which is a real significant increase.

More Research Needed
Before these results, previous trials using growth hormone treatment on children with Crohn's disease showed mixed results, with many of them conflicting, so whilst these latest results are very promising, there is still much work and research to be done before the growth hormone can be used to treat pediatric patients with Chrons disease who also have stunted growth.

SOURCE: The Journal of Pediatrics, November 2008.

USA: Chrons Disease Books

UK: Chrons Disease Books

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Advances in Chrons Disease Surgeries

Chrons Disease: Cut away of the Colon
This week, leading Chrons Disease experts at the York-Presbyterian Hospital, in the US have said that today people who suffer from chrons disease, the chronic inflammatory bowel condition are living longer healthier lives and this is mainly down to innovative new surgery.

There are an estimated half a million people in the USA alone who suffer from Chrons disease, which starts off inflammation along the gastrointestinal tract and is most often found in the lower bowel. Today there are certain drugs can help ease symptoms of chrons disease, but to date there is no cure for crohn's. There are often complications related to Crohn's disease and these often include fistulas which are abnormal, obstructive connections between tissues in the body, strictures which is basically the narrowing of the bowel, abscesses, perforations, haemorrhage and even cancers. Because of these complications chrons disease sufferers will often require some sort of surgery.

Dr Fabrizio Michelassi who is an author as well as a professor and chairman in the Department of Surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College he is also the surgeon in chief at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center said that out of five patients with chrons disease, four of them will need some kind of surgery during some point of their lives. The new,advanced and minimally invasive techniques however are sparing the patients precious bowel tissue and at the same time improving quality of life.

Dr. Sharon Stein who is the assistant professor of surgery at Weill Cornell Medical College and colorectal surgeon at New York-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Centre said that "In the past, this was limited to complex, invasive surgeries that required the removal of whole sections of the affected bowel. But over the past two decades, advances in surgery have changed that paradigm,"

Innovations in Chrons Disease Surgery

Fistula Plugs:

For anyone who has had a fistula, and I will know they are often painful as well as being dangerous as they can cause the contents of your intestines to diverge from the anal canal. This can often progress to anal incontinence, abscesses and in the most serious cases systemic infection. There are now certain surgical procedures that can drain the fistula tract but for more difficult lesions there is a new new surgical anal plug which is made from grafted porcine tissue and is then placed over the fistula. This fistula plug then is the catalyst for the growth of fibrotic tissue in the area that will then close off the fistula passage. According to Dr Stein, recent studies have shown this method to be successful in up to half of Chrons patients.

Laparoscopic surgery:

Another new innovation in surgery for people with Chrons disease is known as Laparoscopic surgery which are minimally invasive techniques requiring only a small incision and leaves very little external scarring. Laparoscopic surgery can take longer to perform than conventional surgery techniques, but lead to shorter stays in hospital, which not only saves money, but because chrons disease patients often spend long periods in hospitals can be very important to them.


The technique of Strictureplasty has completely changed bowel surgery as the technique alows the surgeon to leave the disease affected length of bowel in place but widen it, it is "much like letting out the seams on a pant-leg," explains Dr Michelassi, who is a world renowned pioneer in the technique of Strictureplasty. This saves bowel tissue while "restructuring" it, so that intestinal contents can safely pass through. before Strictureplasty, surgeons would have to cut out whole sections of bowel affected with Chrons disease, shortening the organ which leads to the limiting of the gastrointestinal tract.

(Source: New advances in surgical treatment of Crohn's disease. Practical Gastroenterology: November 2008)

Books on Crohn's Disease from

Books on Crohn's Disease from

Thursday, 25 September 2008

Perianal Fistulas and Chrons Disease

Many people who suffer from chrons, then often go on to get fistulas of some sort, including Perianal fistulas. So what exactly is a Fistula?

The medical definition is that a fistula is an abnormal tunnel that connect two body cavities like the rectum to the vagina or it can connect a body cavity to the skin, so the rectum to the skin.Ok, so we now know what a fistula is, so then what is a Perianal Fistula? Quite simply a Perianal fistula is a fistula that connects the perianal skin with the anus or the rectum.

How are fistulas formed?
When a abscess in your body does not heal, this the eventually breaks through the skin or into another body cavity as described before.

It has been found that fistulas are far more common in people with chrons disease than those with ulcerative colitis and it has been found that about a quarter of people with Crohn's disease go on to develop a fistula.Perianal fistulas with people who have chrons can cause scarring, faecal incontinence, and in about 10 to 18% of people even proctectomy (which is a surgical resection of the rectum. Also called rectectomy.)

The diagnostic and therapeutic options to those with perianal fistulas available were limited, but this has started to change recently over the last ten years or so and the options for the diagnosis and treatment of fistulizing Crohn's disease have changed allot and are still continuing to change and improve even though the exact way to treat them is still controversial.

Wednesday, 17 September 2008

Research may help painful Symptoms of Chrons Disease

In the USA today, there are more than half a million people with Chrons disease and if you break it down, more than 100 thousand of these are children. As we know so far there is no cure, so until we find a cure for chrons disease, the main angle of attack is to reduce the symptoms. (Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that causes the intestinal lining to become inflamed, and this causing severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea and bleeding.)

The good news is that it now seems that some researchers may just have found a way to help reduce the painful symptoms of chrons disease.

The video below tels of Taralyn Allen, who is 15 years old who has had chrons disease for the last four years. Apparently there are still people out there who do not know that chrons can affect children, this is according to Howard Baron, M.D., a pediatric gastroenterologist at Sunrise Children's Hospital in Las Vegas. "The parents will assume it's the flu and it goes on and on and on."

Taralyn said that she felt sick all day every day and when she was correctly diagnosed with chrons, she was treated like many of us with steroids, this helped to relieve a little of the pain, but caused her to put on a lot of weight, going from 70 pounds to 130 pounds in just a few months.

She now no longer takes steroids and is the first child in the world to take part in a study of a new drug marketed at Humira (adalimumab). This drug has already shown to work with adults with chrons disease.

Humira (adalimumab) is an antibody that fights against a chemical that starts the inflammatory cascade in your body. It prevents white blood cells from migrating to the lining of tissues, which causes the inflammation and the pain.

Humira (adalimumab)does have side effects: It decreases the immune system and children with Chrons disease could be at a slightly higher risk for lymphoma.

Happily for Taralyn the Humira has worked and now for her Chrons disease does not exist anymore

Humira is still undergoing research and children as young as five can enroll in the clinical trial. The youngest patient enrolled so far is 10-years-old.

Video of Taralyn and her fight against Chrons Disease

Sunday, 14 September 2008

The Crohn's Diet, Colitis Diet and Superfoods

Can Superfoods help cure Chrons disease?
Because Chrons disease affects the digestive system and certain types of food play a role in triggering the genes that cause this inflammatory bowel disease, a team of scientists in New Zealand are focusing their research on crones disease whilst looking to see if certain foods are linked to disease prevention in general. So for example they are looking for food that is linked to disease prevention, such as broccoli and colon cancer.

The research project consists of around 700 IBD and Chrons patients, who have all begun by listing the foods that their body cannot tolerate, or that cause them to have a flare up. They then compare the genetic differences in people who have chrons disease with their tolerances and in-tolerances of foods in their diet. The researches are also collecting details on the patients lifestyle as well as their symptoms.

Initial findings have shown that foods like Bananas, starchy vegetables, ginger and couscous have been pointed out as good foods for the Crohn's and Colitis diet, where as carbonated drinks, energy drinks, alcohol, coffee, food like hot curries, salami, grapefruit, cream, fruits that have small seeds and corn have generally shown to be bad foods for the Chrons diet.

Cabbage and the Colitis Diet: Their research has shown that certain chrons disease patients who have a certain gene find that cabbage causes a flare up where as other patients who do not contain the gene not only can eat cabbage in their diet, but have found that it actually is beneficial!

Generally The Good Chrons Diet contains things like:
Starchy Vegetables

Generally The Bad Crohn's Diet contains things like:
Energy Drinks
Carbonated Drinks
Hot Curries
Fruit with small seeds

The New Zealand scientists are basically looking for two things in the Crohn's and Colitis diet: the gene "switch" that makes people prone to inflammation and a nutrient (or food) that turns it off the inflammation.
Ultimately it is hoped that this research will go on to other inflammatory illnesses like colitis and that they will be able to find other nutrients that turn off these harmful gene "switches". They are the fist to say that there is a long way to go, but it has already been shown that in Singapore, there has been an increase in western diseases as their diet changes and becomes more westernised. (In Singapore all babies are genotyped)

It is thought that, in the developed world, Chrons disease affects one in every 10,000 people, In New Zealand research has shown that they have an even higher proportion, with one in 600 people in the Canterbury area alone. Professor Lynn Ferguson of the University’s Nutrigenomics group says that "Chrons disease is on the rise, and it is important that we learn as much as possible about how diet affects symptoms and whether this is genetically linked."

Tuesday, 5 August 2008

Chrons Disease and Pregnancy

I found the information on pregnancy and Chrons disease that was originally written by Rhonda Mann who is from the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and hope that it may help anyone out there who has Chrons disease and is thinking of having children or who may already be pregnant with Chrons disease and looking for some advice.

A Healthy Mom
The first thing that is important to point out that with any pregnancy it is beast for the woman to be in good health so if you do have Chrons disease you are already at a disadvantage. But if you have Chrons disease and want children you can help by eating right and exercising but you must also bring your Chrons Disease under control.

Chronss Disease as well as Ulcerative Colitis effect the digestive tract and are known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). There are about 1 million people in America alone who have IBD, which can cause abdominal pain and diarrhea. Both men and women are equally susceptible to IBD and the symptoms usually begin between the ages of 20 and 40, which can be particularly problematic for women who wish to have children and who have Chrons.

Because Chrons disease often affects women in their childbearing years, it is important for women to know when it is safe for them to get pregnant. This is according to Dr. Jacqueline Wolf who is a national (American) expert on IBD and pregnancy and who is also a physician in the Division of Gastroenterology at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center.

According to the research on Crohn's disease and Pregnancy, if you have your Chrons disease under control at the moment of conception you are are less likely to have any complications during your pregnancy.

It was only about Twenty years ago, women with Chrons disease were being told not to have children now the view is different and most women with Chrons disease can have a safe pregnancy and delivery, but that is if you go into the pregnancy without the disease being active.

To achieve this, it requires using certain medications to keep IBD inactive before and during the pregnancy. Obviously you know as well as I do that this is not simple as some of the medications frequently used to treat IBD and Chrons disease are not approved for use during pregnancy and some may lead to birth defects. Unfortunately there is still a lot to learn about the safety of Chrons disease drugs during pregnancy ans especially breastfeeding but on the bright side, whilst there are still some unknowns with a few of the Chrons drug treatments, it has been found that most of the medications are safe in pregnancy.

As you probably know and I have found in the past that by coming off my medication results in me having a flare up and so it will probably not be possible to come off your Chrons disease medication during pregnancy and breastfeeding.

Sometimes woman with Chrons need to make their own informed decision about what is best for themselves and their baby, but probably the best advice is if you are on any form of Chrons disease treatment, to remain on treatment - with the exception of methotrexate, which should never be used in pregnancy.

Most woman fears are whilst taking medication is what it would mean for their baby, when faced with the decision about continuing their Chrons disease treatment during pregnancy.

If you are planning to have a baby and you have Chrons disease, the best advice is to speak with your doctor and let them know of your plans and they will best be able to advise you based on your personal circumstances. But I feel that it is important to know that it is possible to have a baby if you have Chrons disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease should be controlled prior to pregnancy: ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease. (Women's Health).: An article from: Family Practice News

Thursday, 5 June 2008

Chrons Disease Symptoms

In many cases it is initially quite difficult to diagnose Chrons Disease as the symptoms can be quite varied and sometimes the symptoms of Chrons Disease can be confused with Ulcerative Colitis as is what happened in my case.

Chrons disease lasts a long time, sometimes for the rest of the affected person's life and is therefore refered to as a chronic condition. The term chronic refers to time, not to how serious a condition is.

One of the main pointers of Chrons disease is the flare ups of symptoms and then returning to periods of no symptoms at all, which is called remission. In most cases there is no real obvious reason what causes the Chrons disease symptoms to come back (which is called a relapse).

When you have Chrons disease symptoms, the disease is said to be active.

The main symptoms of crohn's disease include the ones listed below but please note are not the only ones:

  • Diarrhea which sometimes may contain blood, pus or mucus

  • No appetite

  • Loss of weight

  • A Fever

  • Painful and swollen stomach

  • Bleeding from the anus

  • Tears, ulcers or abscesses (pus-filled areas) around your anus

When the disease is active many people often experience other lesser chrons disease symptoms which include:

  • Ulcers in the mouth

  • Inflammation of the eyes

  • Rashes

  • Pain in your joints

  • Skin ulcers

Whilst not really a Chrons disease symptom, it is important to note that many people experience fertility problems and women have an increased risk of a miscarriage.

Thursday, 8 May 2008

Chrons Disease and Breastfeeding Children

I often read articles about breastfeeding babies and the benefits that it brings to both the child and the mother, but I found a post the other day that pointed out that breastfeeding your baby might mean that it has less chance of developing chrons disease in the future.

Ever since the begining of time, mothers have been feeding their newborn babies with breast milk, it is about as natural as it gets, so I always wondered why some people would not feed their babies with breast milk, I am not a mother so guess I cannot really judge, but to me it is obviouse that breastfeeding must have some sort of benefit to your child.

Not only does it provide a special bond between you and your child, but there are many medical benefits as well. Now it seems that if you breastfeed your child, it has less chance of developing chrons disease in the future.

Here are some interesting points that I have found on the web about the benefits of breastfeeding:

Breastfeeding protects mothers from breast cancer, ovarian cancer, osteoporosis and obesity.

Babies who are breastfed one year often have higher IQ rates and are less likely to be victims of Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).

There are lower cases of respiratory illnesses such as asthma, ear infections, childhood cancers, gastrointestinal infections and diseases in breastfed babies.

Breastfed babies are less likely than formula fed babies of contracting colitis, meningitis, Chrons disease, necrotizing enterocolitis, eczema, certain types of heart disease and allergies amongst others

Breastfeeding promotes development of a babies jaw and facial muscles.

There is a reduced chance of childhood obesity in breastfed infants.

So if these facts are to be believed, breastfeeding is truly a beneficial choice for you and your baby.

Just a point, I have not found any study to either back up or rubbish this claim that breastfeeding lowers the chances of chrons disease, I just read it in an artice about breastfeeding and would love to hear from anyone who has any more information on the subject.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

No Chrons disease benefits with Omega-3s

There have been studies in the past that seemed to support the anti inflammatory potential of omega-3 fatty acids, but the most recent study seems to suggest that the oils are not effective for managing Chrons disease.

The Authors of the research said in the Journal of the American Medical Association that "Our results are important because the use of alternative medicines in general, and omega-3 free fatty acid formulations in particular, is widespread among patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)"

People started to use omega-3 after the positive findings of some research conducted by Italian researchers in 1996 in the New England Journal of Medicine. Because of the most recent findings, the researchers said that "we do not endorse this practice (of using omega-3), since patients with Chrons disease who are at risk for relapse would be better served by taking medications of known efficacy".

Dr. Brian Feagan at The University of Western Ontario in London, Canada led the new international study on omega-3 and Chrons Disease that included two massive tests involving seven hundred and thirty eight Chrons patients in the US, Europe, Israel, and Canada.

The importance of this large scale test cannot be over estimated as smaller trials often overestimate the true effects, that why it is important to conduct large-scale, randomised, multi-location tests in order to confirm preliminary results.

Chrons disease, current affects about one in 400 people in the west, Crohn's disease is currently incurable so patients are mostly looking to control the inflammation, (known as flare ups), relieve symptoms and prolong the time spent when the disease is in remission. And because of the anti-inflammatory properties of omega-3 fatty acids, the researchers wanted to test their effects on for Chrons disease patients.

Main results and Details of the Omega-3 Study and Chrons

The research was undertaken as mentioned before in two large trials involving 363 and 375 patients using high doses of omega-3 free fatty acids in Chrons disease patients who were in remission. The people with chrons were randomly given either a placebo or a daily omega-3 supplement that lasted for a total of 58 weeks.

The omega-3 supplement provided a dose of four grams of omega-3 per day, which consisted of 50% to 60% eicosapentanonic acid (EPA) and 15% to 25% docosahexanoic acid (DHA). These doses were placed in a delayed release soft gelatin capsules.

The researchers found no significant differences in relapse rates between people in the omega-3 and placebo groups in either trial. In one of the trials, 31.6% of patients in the omega-3 group experienced a relapse within the 360 days, compared to 35.7% of people with chrons who were in the placebo group. The other trial shoed 47.8% of patients in the omega-3 group experienced a relapse within 360 days, compared to 48.8% of chrons patients who were in the in the placebo group.
So basically high doses of omega-3 free fatty acids did not reduce the rate of relapse in people with Chrons disease.

On the plus side there is a lot of research that supports the role of omega-3 fatty acids for health in hearts this was first discovered in the 1970s by a group of Danish researchers and this recent report seemed to back up those findings.

Book on Chrons Disease
Living with Crohn's Disease from Amazon (USA)

Living with Crohn's Disease from Amazon (UK)

Source: Journal of the American Medical Association
Volume 299, Number 14, Pages 1690-1697
"Omega-3 Free Fatty Acids for theMaintenance of Remission in Crohn Disease: The EPIC Randomized Controlled Trials"
Authors: B.G. Feagan, W.J. Sandborn, U. Mittmann, S. Bar-Meir, G. D'Haens, M. Bradette, A. Cohen, C. Dallaire, T.P. Ponich, J.W.D. McDonald, X. Hebuterne, P. Pare, P. Klvana, Y. Niv, S. Ardizzone, O. Alexeeva, A. Rostom, G. Kiudelis, J. Spleiss, D. Gilgen, M.K. Vandervoort, C.J. Wong, G.Y. Zou, A. Donner, P. Rutgeerts

Wednesday, 12 March 2008

Chrons Disease With Fistulas Breakthrough

There is real hope for people who have fistulas because of their Chrons Disease as it was recently announced in France at the European Chrons and Colitis Organization (ECCO) annual meeting that HUMIRA (Adalimumab) is successful for the treatment of fistulas in people who have Crohn's disease.

So what is Chrons disease?

Chrons Disease is basically a gastrointestinal disorder where there is chronic inflammation of the walls of some part of the digestive tract. People affected with the disease suffer periods of flare-ups and then periods where they are in remission, this can continue through the whole life of the person.

Is Chrons Disease the same as ulcerative colitis?
The short answer is No, Chrons is considered medically as an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and it is similar to ulcerative colitis.

Fistulas and Chrons
In a recent study, it was suggested that almost half (43%) of Chrons disease patients will develop fistulas, which can be both painful and embarrassing.

What Are Fistulas?
Fistulas are basically tunnels that connect the chrons affected organs to surrounding tissues. These can include the bladder, vagina, or even the skin. Fistulas are very difficult to treat and can cause fecal discharge from abnormal locations, leading to not only embarrassment but also incontinence, infections, and other complications that will usually mean that the patient has to undergo surgery.

So how can HUMIRA (Adalimumab) help?
HUMIRA, or Adalimumab works by binding Tumor Necrosis Factor α (TNF-α), which is an important part of the immune response pathway

Because of this, Adalimumab is related to infliximab and other similar TNF-α blockers. The good news is that it has already been given the green light in a few countries for treatment of many diseases that are autoimmune related including Chrons Disease, psoriasis and some types of arthritis.

The study that took place showed some very posetive results and did point to the fact that the healing of fistulas was a lot better in people who had been given HUMIRA:

  • 60% of chrons patients showed fistula healing after 1 year of treatment
  • 76% of patients who showed the improvement and healing after 1 year continued the healing up to 2 years
  • 71% of patients showed a significant 50% reduction in the number of draining fistulas after 2 years of treatmen with HUMIRA.
During thsese 2 years that people with chrons with fistulas had a higher quality of life because the disease was in remission.

All sounds like excellent news, I would love to hear from anyone who has any first hand exprience, if you have please leave a comment.

Sunday, 24 February 2008

Chrons Disease and Aggressive Therapy

A recent study has shown that if you treat chrons disease more aggressively, it resulted in a better outcome for patients. This study was performed by an international team of researchers.

The researcher's found that shortly after a person had been diagnosed with chrons disease, using more than 1 immunosuppressive drug was more effective in inducing remission than starting patients on corticosteroids.

One of the researcher's, Dr. Brian Feagan said that more studies needed to be conducted, but if you treat chrons patients earlier with more aggressive therapy it may be more effective than the traditional method. Doctors are always looking for ways to treat people who suffer from chrons disease without the use of steroids, so this could mean en exciting development.
Nobody really knows the true cause of chrons disease but basically what happens is there is an inflammation of the gut that often affects the small intestine, the swelling leads to pain and diarrhea. The current theory is that someone with crohn's disease has lost tolerance to normal bacteria in the gastrointestinal tract. "The immune system is in a controlled inflammatory state. In Crohns disease, it is thought that the immune system is becoming unhappy with normal flora. White blood cells migrate into the tissue and release nasty things and cause damage." said Feagan, director of Robarts Clinical Trials at Robarts Research Institute at The University of Western Ontario in London, Ontario, Canada.

The current usual treatment for someone with crohns begins with corticosteroids. If the patient shows really bad side effects to the steroid treatment or if some sort of resistance to the drug begins to show the treatment usually moves on to a range of immunosuppressive drugs like Rheumatrex (methotrexate). If this treatment does not help, tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-blockers are often then used.

Remicade (infliximab) with Imuran (azathioprine)
In the research 133 people with chrons disease in Belgium, Germany and Holland had either combined immunosuppression or the traditional method. 67 had the joint immunosuppression with three infusions of Remicade (infliximab) with Imuran (azathioprine) at the start and then again a few weeks later and then again 4 weeks after that. The other 66 patients were given steroids ad then given Imuran and Remicade.

Study Results
Some initial findings show that after 6 months sixty percent of the patients on the combined immunosuppression had their chrons disease in remission with no need for steroids or any form of surgery. From the second group only 35.9% were in remission.

Later on, after one year the figures were:
61.5% of the combined immunosuppression group were in remission compared to ony 42.2 % of patients following the more traditional method of chrons disease treatments.

More research is to follow, but if they come to the same conclusion, the conventional treatment for Chrons could change.

Down sides to Remicade (infliximab)
Remicade is administered intravenously so the person has to go to a medical center to receive treatment.

Saturday, 16 February 2008

About Chrons Disease

I found this excellent video about chrons disease which explains all the main details including:

Chrons Disease Definition
Chrons Disease Diagnosis
Chrons Disease Treatment

So if you get tired my writing, take a look at the video, it may answer a few of your questions:

Friday, 15 February 2008

Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready and Chrons Disease

I had not realised until recently that the Pearl Jam guitarist Mike McCready suffers from Chrons Disease. I only found out because I found this great video on YouTube of a guy who tells of his experience of the disease with a Perl Jam backing track, which he uses because of the fact Mike McCready has chrons Disease.

Anyway here is the video:

Apparently the Perl Jam guitarist announced that he had chrons in 2003 and the main reason he decided to go public was because of the strength of a teenager who had suffered through 6 surgeries and still had a long way to go to get to grips with chrons.

During his speech which he made on stage, Mike spoke of a particularly embarrassing incident to demonstrate how Chrons can come at any time. He said that whilst playing onstage at a gig, he would always make sure he was aware of where the bathrooms were "When Crohn's hits, I have to run, or it won't be pretty. It happened when we opened up for the Rolling Stones in 1997 in Oakland. It was our first show with them, Five minutes before we went on, I went up to Pearl Jam front man Eddie Vedder and I said, 'Look man, can we play 'Sometimes'? — which is a slower song that I'm not really on. I was in pain. I went running offstage looking for a bathroom, and there wasn't one. Then, all of a sudden, there was one. It was a honey bucket. I heard my band play that song from inside a portable toilet!"

I am sure may people who have chrons disease can relate to this story!

Wednesday, 13 February 2008

Chrons Disease Drug Tysabri has been approved

There is some great news for people who suffer from Chrons Disease in the US as the Food and Drug Administration has approved the use of a drug called Tysabri (natalizumab).

Tysabri which is produced by Ireland based company Elan and Biogen Idec in the USA is to be used on chrons patients who have not responded to other forms of treatment, it was given the green light in 2006 to treat people who have elapsing multiple sclerosis and will now be given the all clear to be used with people suffering from Chrons Disese.

Possible side effects of the drug include the risk of progressive multifocal leukoencephalopathy which is a viral infection that affects the brain. This viral infection could cause severe disability or even death. Another possible side effect are anaphylactic reactions and possible liver injury.

Because of these possible serious side effects people with chrons disease who are prescribed the drug Tysabri will also be added to a restricted distribution program called Crohn's Disease-Tysabri Outreach Unified Commitment to Health (CD-TOUCH).

This program will allow doctors to check the chrons disease patients that are using Tysabri after three months and will be asked to stop using the drug if there if there are no signs of improvement in that time.

Drug Details
Drug Name: TYSABRI (Brand Name Drug)
FDA Application No. (BLA) 125104
Active Ingredient: NATALIZUMAB
Original Approval or Tentative Approval Date: November 23, 2004
There are no Therapeutic Equivalents

Chrons Disease is an incurable disease that affects the bowel. Symptoms often include diarrhea, fever, rectal bleeding, malnutrition, narrowing of the intestines, cramping, and abdominal pain. Chrons disease affects more than one million people around the world and can also lead to abnormal connections that are called fistulas from the intestines to the skin or internal organs.

Monday, 28 January 2008

Chrons Disease basics

Some Basic Chrons Disease facts: What it is and some of the main Chrons Disease Symptoms

Often when you are trying to research a medical condition like Crohn's Disease, you get bombarded with long words and medical terminology. In this article I will try and explain what chrons disease is in really basic terms. Hope it helps

So What is Chrons Disease?
Basicall Chrons disease is a medical condition that causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract which is sometimes known as the gut.

So what is the gut then?
When medical people talk of the gut, they mean your oesophagus (where your food first goes down after swallowing it!), your stomach, and your small and large intestines.

People cant be affected by Chrons disease in any part of the gut, but it seems to occur more often in the lower part of your small intestine, this part of your intestine is known as the ileum.

How do I know if I have Chrons Disease and what are the basic Chrons Disease symptoms?
The most common symptoms of chrons disease include, pain, which is often in your lower abdomen or stomach, ulcers and diarrhoea.

What can be done to help with the Chrons Disease Symptoms?
If you are diagnosed with Crohn's disease, you may be given medication that you will take daily that can help relieve your symptoms. Sometimes the medication will not work and you may have to have surgery to remove part of your gut, that has been affected with chrons disease.

So how common is Chrons Disease?
Chrons Disease is probably more common than you may have thought, about 1 person in 1,500 people have Chrons disease.

Chrons Disease can start at any age, but most often first shows up between the ages of 15 and 40. The disease also seems to affect slightly more women than men.

What is the Prognosis of Chrons Disease?
If you have Chrons disease, what is your outlook? This can be difficult to answer as it will depend largely what part of your gut has the disease and how bad a case of chrons disease you have. But if we work on an average case of Chrons, most people will experience some symptoms from time to time - this is called a flare up.

Most people who have chrons disease (about 80 %) will eventually have surgery at some time, probably to remove the diseased part of your gut.

Only in very rare cases where there is a complication, will Chrons Disease be life-threatening.