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This Week in Crohn's
This Week in Crohn's

Welcome to This Week in Crohn’s, a weekly roundup of the best blog posts, studies, and news about Crohn’s disease.

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This Week in Crohn’s: November 09, 2012

This week’s Crohn’s update features a ridiculous story about tree bark curing a woman’s Crohn’s, a pediatric Crohn’s drug receiving FDA Fast Track status and much, much more.

It’s the Internet! Don’t Believe Everything You Read… Or You’ll Get a Splinter in Your Gut.

Over the past week, jokes about eating trees, eating bark, becoming a beaver or woodchuck will cure your IBD have been making the rounds in the online IBD support groups thanks to a loosely written article that went online courtesy of the British newspaper The Sun. The article titled, “I healed myself of incurable disease… by eating TREES” is salacious enough to get anyone to read it. But when it started popping up in Crohn’s, UC and IBD news filters it caught a lot of eyes… and then a lot of laughs.

To be clear, yes there are some tree barks found to have medicinal properties. The woman who claims she is cured from her Crohn’s disease (but more than likely is just in remission) even admits that eating the barks felt awful at times. Really? The newspaper tried to grant more validity to her claim by posting a snippet from the woman’s personal GI, which touts she does not have signs of active disease. This is something most logical people would attribute to remission. But to add another log on the fire (pun intended) The Sun had one of their own medical commentators add her two cents and at the very end she urges caution to not do more harm than good.

So what did we learn from this boys and girls? Don’t get out the wood chipper just yet!


Join the Upcoming CCFA Online Support Group Series

Over the next couple of months, the CCFA Online Support Group will host a series of online chat where people can connect with others who have Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Over the course of the 4-week series, you will be able to participate in weekly chat sessions that cover specific IBD-related topics and allow participants to share their views on each topic. Each 90-minute chat session is guided by a CCFA moderator.

According to the site’s charter, “Each support group is limited to 25 registrants. However, we offer monthly opportunities to participate.” Here is the direct link: http://www.ccfacommunity.org/ChatSeries.aspx.



Potential Pediatric Crohn’s Medication Used for Induction Into Remission Has Received Fast-Track Approval by FDA

A while back we reported about Soligenix, a development stage biopharmaceutical company, working on a pediatric medication for Crohn’s disease called SGX203 or Oral BDP. The Sacramento Bee Has reported exciting news that BDP/SGX203 has been given the Fast Track designation by the FDA for the “induction treatment of mild-to-moderate pediatric Crohn’s.

The Sac Bee described Fast Track as something reserved for a drug intended to treat a serious or life-threatening condition. It is also described as a process for a medication that will help a condition that has an unmet medical need thus far.

This is so very important to the pediatric Crohn’s community, because at the moment there aren’t any Corticosteroid treatments available. By being granted the Fast Track status, the drug can be rolled out to the patient community while the company can submit new studies to the FDA for further approval as more information is gathered. In other words, the FDA has confidence enough in this medication that they are willing to relax their stringent rules just a bit to help the sick children of the Crohn’s community.


IBD Costs Canadians $2.8 Billion Annually, Says the CCFC as Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month Kicks Off

The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) recently launched its “Impact Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Report and Recommendations as a part of kicking off November as Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month.

Data highlights inlcude: How many Canadians are currently living with IBD and then break down the data per Crohn’s and UC patients, the report also lists the difference in Canadians with the diseases since its last report made in 2008. The report delves into the amount of children reported with the disease, and the prevalence of having IBD over other inflammatory diseases among other facts. This is definitely a good read, especially for those of you in need of fresh facts for reporting purposes.



Inserting a Protein Into Gut Bacteria May Fight Crohn’s and UC

We reported last week on data coming back from researchers regarding the use of bacteria where a human protein, Elafin, is inserted into it, and has helped fight gut inflammation in mice. Rather than reporting the same thing findings over again, this article posted by Vonda J. Sines, on Yahoo News, does an excellent job at explaining the bacteria, the protein, and how everything works in tandem.


Arizona Elks Major Projects Commits to Raising $2.5 million for Childhood Disease Research

For over 10 years, The Elks have committed time, effort and funds to the Steele Children’s Research Center. And now they are committing to raise 2.5 million over the next 10 years. Funds will benefit pediatric research for autoimmune diseases such as Type I Diabetes (juvenile), MS, IBD and Celiac. To read more about the new program and how it will grow over the next decade, click here.


New Study Identifies Factors Relating to Surgical Complication After Resection for IBD

Whether you are an older patient, suffer from CD or UC, have an certain type of procedure conducted, or were operated on with a certain set of tools, or were admitted into the hospital due to a specific set of circumstances… researchers have been able to whittle down the likelihood or lack thereof in whether or not you will experience post-surgical complications after a resection for either CD or UC. Pretty interesting stuff, check it out!


The Canadian Jewish News Highlights Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month and Speaks with Toronto’s Mount Sinai CEO and President Dr. Joseph Mapa About Awareness and Finding a Cure

As mentioned in one of the articles above, it’s Crohn’s and Colitis awareness month in Canada. Like the CCFA in the states, the CCFC works hard at generating awareness and raising funds for research and treatment for IBD, which affects more people than MS, Parkinsons, or Epilepsy in Canada.

This article showcases interviews with two leading doctors about treatment evolution, how IBD affects patients emotionally and financially via employment, and one mother expressing her concerns for the future of her child’s health care as well as her family’s fundraising efforts over the past few years to ensure a better future for those with IBD.


NPR’s Talk of the Nation Addresses Genetic Clues That May Help Unravel Cause of Crohn’s

Feel like listening to the Talk of the Nation show featuring Crohn’s disease or just want to read it? You can do both, here. Although some of the information discussed like genetically engineered bacteria that you can put in yogurt, or how IBD actually works is not new to most of us living with IBD, hearing the conversation between a lay person and a leading expert in IBD gives the conversation an air of new energy.  And in case any of you were wondering, yes the pig whipworms are discussed, and it is fabulous – enjoy!


Looking for Ways to Raise Awareness for IBD, Help Raise Funds for a Cure, and Meet Others Who Go Through the Same Trials You Do? Get Involved! 

Here is a list of events you can get involved with to help raise awareness, funds and endorphins:

Get Your Guts In Gear (GYGIG)

Each ride averages 70 miles a day and has 2 overnight camps. During the Ride, you will receive support from GYIG staff and an all-volunteer crew. You will also get to participate in an opening ceremony, as well as be provided with meals and route support, including fully stocked rest stops, sweep vehicles, and baggage transport between camps. In order to participate in the 2-day long ride, the requirements are an $85 registration fee and fundraising of at least $1,250. For more info you can call 1-718-875-2123 or e-mail the GYIG folks at info@ibdride.org.

Team Challenge Crohn’s & Colitis

Team Challenge is the CCFA’s endurance training and fundraising challenge. Participants can run or walk 13.1 miles or train for a triathlon or cycling event while helping to find a cure for Crohn’s disease and UC. Visit the http://www.ccteamchallenge.org/ page to determine which event you’d prefer to participate in and then go from there. If you aren’t sure about forming your own team, that’s okay they can help hook you up with one. Pretty cool right?

Take Steps Be Heard for Crohn’s & Colitis 

This is another CCFA event involving walks held all over the nation. One of the great things about this event is that is usually held in the same place at the same time, every year. This means that participants can fundraise all year long; up until the very day of the walk. The CCFA provides team captains and their fellow walkers with fundraising ideas and support. So if you want to go big on your fundraising efforts you will have the help of the CCFA to guide you. To learn more about the Take Steps Walk visit their FAQ page or fill out their Request More Information Page.

Have a favorite charity that we didn't mention? Send us your suggestions at: tracyr@healthline.com

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