Welcome to This Week in Crohn’s, a weekly roundup of the best blog posts, studies, and news about Crohn’s disease.See all posts »
Low FODMAP Diet, Girls with Guts, New Treatments, & More
Hospital Physician Uses Miniature Microscope to Examine Live Tissue at the Cellular Level During Endoscopy
Great news for patients who visit Winthrop’s Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the Advanced Endoscopy Program: Winthrop University Hospital is the first in Long Island to use Cellvizio®, labeled the world’s smallest microscope. This advanced imaging technology is described as a flexible scope located on a laser fiber that is smaller than the point of a pen. The scope will help doctors spot the earliest signs of cancers that affect those with Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, as well as those at risk for esophageal, bile or pancreatic duct abnormalities and/or cancer. Cellvizio imaging will also allow doctors to see how the body is responding to treatment at a cellular level, in a way that older scopes have not allowed.
Jes’ Story: Pregnant with an Ostomy
For many young women living with ostomies or contemplating getting one, family planning weighs heavily on their minds. Girlswithguts.com recently posted a first-hand account by a guest blogger named Jes, a young woman who was diagnosed with indeterminate Crohn’s/colitis during her first pregnancy who subsequently needed a permanent ileostomy. Now in remission, Jes gives a positive recount of her ups and downs and discusses the overall experience of what it’s like to be pregnant with an ileostomy.
New Study Shows Inflammation Drives Crohn’s Disease
In a recent study, Cornell University aimed to answer the age-old question: what causes Crohn’s disease — genetics or inflammation? According to their research, results lean toward inflammation. The study helped make it clear that although linked to Crohn’s, genetics are not the singular cause of the disease; rather, genetics play a role in how the body responds to the inflammation that causes Crohn’s disease. Thanks in part to discoveries made during this study, researchers were able to better understand cell receptors that are critical to therapeutic treatment. These results will be crucial in the development of future treatments, and may offer insights into a possible cure for Crohn’s disease.
Health care Professionals Invited to Share IBD Research Initiatives
Attention health care professionals with an interest in pediatric and adult IBD: you are invited to share your research initiatives with the healthcare community by submitting an abstract. Accepted abstracts will be published in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and will also be presentated at the 2012 Advances in Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s Clinical & Research Conference in Hollywood, Florida on December 13-15, 2012. “Last year’s event was amazing, with so many great submissions from all over our scientific community. 2012 is shaping up to be even better,” said conference co-chair Dr. Stephen B. Hanauer. “We have a larger space to accommodate more posters, more attendees, and more cutting edge research this year. This is an incredible way to participate in one of inflammatory bowel disease’s most prominent events.” There will also be a limited number of travel grants for gastrointestinal fellows, nurses and nurse practitioners to attend. Visit http://www.advancesinibd.com for more details.
Enterography is an Option for Pediatric Patients with Crohn’s Disease
A new research shows that MR enterography is an excellent replacement for radiation-emitting imaging techniques commonly used to diagnosis and track Crohn’s disease in pediatric patients. Already proven to successfully identify intestinal inflammation in adults, MR enterography used in pediatric diagnosis will help alleviate the need for other imaging tests like x-rays and CT scans and, most importantly, doesn’t require sedation. Researchers are recommending the use of MR enterography for children 9 years of age and up.
Typical IBD Patients Not Represented in Studies
New study hints that IBD patients
involved in medical trials are not representative of the type of patients
medical practitioners see in their practice on a day-to-day basis. The lead
author of the story, Christina HA, MD, of the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine,
says, “Many outpatients with moderate-to-severe inflammatory bowel disease may
not qualify for trials of new treatment options.” Because these individuals may
not fit a list of required criteria that may include, but are not limited to,
age, exposure to biologic medications, prolonged exposure to high-doses of
steroids, and other factors related to IBD. In other words, the individuals who
participate in these studies are almost a clean canvas in terms of disease
treatment, which is not the case for the typical IBD patient. The goal of the
study is to demonstrate the value in including a wider breath of patients in these
studies, regardless of the cost or extended time required to complete such
Gut Infections May be Linked to IBD
Researchers have recently discovered a possible link between Inflammatory Bowel Diseases and past bacterial infection of the gut. More research is needed, but this potential link could offer valuable clues for treatment and prevention of IBD.
Healthy Labs Wants to be the Go to Site for Crohn’s Patients
Tech startup Healthy Labs is looking to become the go-to resource for individuals with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis with the launch of Crohnology (still in beta), a new interactive website and support network designed specifically for people diagnosed with IBD. Close to 5 million individuals are living with IBD worldwide, and the creators of Crohnology believe that sharing, comparing, and contrasting treatments and experiences can help individuals figure out what treatments and maintenance drugs will be best for them. The site also has tools that will help Crohn’s patients monitor their symptoms. And for those who are worried about privacy, pages will not be indexed so search engines cannot log and store your personal health information or conversations.
Endometriosis May Increase Your Odds of Digestive Disease by 80%
Researchers have found that women with endometriosis may be at significant risk for developing IBD (Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) as well. Endometriosis is a chronic disease where the lining of the uterus grows outside the uterus and can abdominal cramping, blood loss, and infertility. Although it is unclear at this time as to why women are more susceptible to have IBD and endometriosis, research is being conducted to better understand potential genetic or environmental links between the two.
Twelve New Lawsuits Added to NJ Accutane Mass Tort
A class action suit involving Accutane being linked to IBD is moving forward in New Jersey court, with 12 more individual cases added. Those involved in the suit say they developed Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis after using Accutane, a prescription acne medication. Lawyers involved with the case say the purpose of the class action suit is to resolve each individual lawsuit in an effective and expedient manner. If you took Accutane (brand or generic) and then developed IBD, visit http://accutanelawsuit-info.com/ for more information about the case.
Low FODMAP Diet: What is it and What Does it Do?
Have you been looking to start a better eating plan to help manage your Crohn’s disease? The Low FODMAP Diet’s main purpose is to help reduce bacteria in the gut, as well as gas and bloating. The diet has also been attributed to helping manage symptoms of IBS. Although the diet does seem a little restrictive, it is a powerful tool to help eliminate trigger foods that can cause IBD to flare.
New Clinical Trial Aims to Cure Crohn’s Disease
Sometimes the best discoveries are the result of happy accidents. Researchers at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are taking a closer look at past leukemia patients in an effort to find a possible cure for Crohn’s disease. In those past studies, leukemia patients who received bone marrow transplants were also cured of Crohn’s disease. Until recently, bone marrow transplants were seen as a very risky procedure and were only recommended for patients in dire need. But new research shows a balance between the risks and benefits of the procedure, offering new hope to doctors and Crohn’s patients alike. Doctors at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are entering phase 2 of this bold clinical trial, and are currently seeking participation from adults between the ages of 18 and 60 with severe Crohn’s disease who are no longer responding to traditional therapies, but are otherwise healthy.
Genes in E. coli Bacteria May Promote Colon Cancer
Recently researchers have discovered a potential link between E. coli bacteria and colon cancer. Research from the University of Liverpool and the University of North Carolina suggests that E. coli infections may damage DNA in intestinal cells, which in turn encourages the development of colon cancer. According to their findings, two-thirds of colon cancer patients have damaged genes in their colon resulting from E. coli bacteria. While a small number of people with healthy colons may carry E. coli bacteria in their gut, researchers found that this is more likely in people with IBD.
Inflammation, Bacteria, and Colorectal Cancer
Researchers are currently studying a correlation between inflammation, bacteria, and colorectal cancer. As most people with Crohn’s disease know, inflammation is the source of their symptoms and what fuels IBD’s destruction. Another well-known fact is that people with IBD have an inherently higher risk to develop colon cancer than those without. What hasn’t been explored (until recently) is how the combination of inflammation and bacteria can encourage the development of colorectal cancer. Studies are currently under way in animals, but researchers believe that the end result will be the same for humans.
Alexis Blackburn, 5-Year-Old in Hospital, Receives Over 100 Get-well cards from Reddit Users
For individuals with IBD, 5-year-old Alexis Blackburn serves as a reminder that having a good attitude goes a long way. Diagnosed at 3-years-of-age with ulcerative colitis, Alexis’s little body battled the disease the best it could. A few days after having her colon removed, Alexis’ father posted a photo with the caption, “My daughter had her colon removed 3 days ago. She found the strength to walk to the playroom yesterday.” The photo of a smiling little girl hooked up to a portable IV machine swept across Reddit, IBD support sites, Facebook, Twitter, and even made national headlines. If you’d like to follow Alexis’ story from the beginning or see how she’s doing, her mother Tara posts updates at http://tarablackburn.blogspot.com/.