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The Crohn's Disease and Stress E-Zine, Issue #009
March 15, 2006
News, articles, resources and more for the person with Crohn’s Disease.
The Crohn’s Disease and Stress newsletter brings you information you can use to help you, or someone you know, cope with Crohn’s Disease.
I want you to know that I appreciate your interest in receiving this information, and I promise you that I will endeavor to make it worth your time, both now and in the future.
If you enjoy this month’s edition and find it valuable, then I would appreciate if you would forward it to other people you know who have Crohn’s Disease or are the family or friends of someone with the disease. If they would like to subscribe, have them send an email to
In This Issue.....
1. A Personal Story
1. A Personal Story
We are always inspired by your personal stories, and do our best to feature as many of them as possible. This one comes from Melissa in New Jersey:
"At twelve years old, I was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease. I spent most of my teenage years in and out of the hospital missing countless days of school. Although I was prescribed heavy doses of steroids and anti-inflammatory medicines, I was determined to beat the disease.
My parents and I read every book we could and researched every new medicine on the market. The reports appeared to boil down to stress, heredity, diet and rest. I did not react well to the prescribed medicines and would do anything to lower the doses. After adjusting my diet (bland turkey roll ups or stuffed shells with a little butter instead of the burgers and pizza that every other teen consumed) I was able to manage my health more effectively.
As I left high school, I was completely off the medications and managed the disease through a trial and error diet. I realize I am extremely lucky with this regard since it is unusual to be un-medicated. I was living a medicine, pain and symptom-free life and the future did not show a hint of Crohn’s returning.
Unfortunately, eleven years after my last bout with Crohn’s, my body began to show signs of another flare. So much time had passed that I grew complacent with my diet and neglected signs of the impending trouble. By the time I realized I was sick it was too late to return to the maintenance methods I had used a decade earlier.
The flare was more painful than I remember and had me unable to move until the final day in the hospital. I spent the following month on large doses of antibiotics, anti-inflammatory and steroid medicines and then subsequent months weaning my way to a maintenance dose of an anti-inflammatory prescription.
Crohn’s Disease may be dormant for a few months or years but at least in my case, I know it has the potential to come back. The recent flare has served as a wake up call to take better care of my body and listen to the warnings that Crohn’s gives me."
Thank you for your story, Melissa. We appreciate you taking the time to write to us. For those wishing to do the same, feel free to contact us. We welcome your feedback.
2. Fish Oil and Crohn's Disease...continued
We have received an overwhelming number of emails regarding fish oil supplements in response to our recent articles touting increased evidence of its efficacy in fighting inflammation.
Many of you were interested in trying a fish oil supplement, but were not sure what to try. We have added a recommendation on our web site for a special high quality fish oil that many of our visitors have reported favorable results with.
It is called Omega 3 DHA Fish Oil Esters and it is manufactured by a company called Xtend-Life Natural Products. For those of you who wish to try it, you can learn more about this supplement here or visit our site for additional information.
3. Colorectal Cancer & IBD...is there a link?
Most people are unaware that colorectal cancer is the 3rd most common cancer in men and women, behind lung and skin cancer, with an expected 150,000 new cases to be diagnosed this year. Left untreated, it can lead to rectal bleeding, blood in the stool, bowel changes, lower abdominal pain, and even death.
The risk factors are common to many cancers, including obesity, lack of exercise, smoking, heavy drinking and nutritional deficiencies. However, those with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are more likely to get colorectal cancer than non-sufferers, as are those with a family history of colorectal cancer and/or polyps.
Fortunately, incidence rates are declining due to increased screening and polyp removal. For those at risk, especially those with Crohn's Disease, colitis and related afflictions, it is crucial that you get tested for colorectal cancer.
According to the American Cancer Society, men and women at risk should begin screening for colorectal cancer at age 50 to detect and remove polyps, precursor lesions and early-stage carcinomas. Early detection is critical to determine treatment options and reduce mortality.
For more information about colorectal and other cancers, visit cancer.org.
4. New Medications & Treatments
A company called Enzo Biochem is working on a new drug for managing Crohn's Disease and other immune mediated diseases. Early trials have shown that a drug called EGS21 can act on immune regulatory cells and regulate their response and function. Tests on mice have yielded positive results in alleviating symptoms of allergic colitis, which may indicate similar success with related disorders. Enzo is also testing another oral drug which may be helpful in managing Crohn's Disease...
A new technique has been developed that may eliminate the need for surgical removal of diseased portions of the intestines, a common procedure for Crohn's patients. According to a doctor at Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Hospital in New York, this new method can have a more beneficial effect on the disease. It involves dividing the loop of diseased intestine and overlapping it in a "side-to-side" fashion...the sections are then cut, and sewn together to provide a larger passageway. The obstruction is now relieved, without the patient having to lose any of his or her intestine.
Both of these recent developments sound promising, yet more research needs to be conducted to determine if the medications/procedures are effective.
Well, that's all for this month's issue...until next time, here's to your health!
Copyright/Reprint Info - The contents of this newsletter may be copied, reproduced, or freely distributed for all nonprofit purposes without the consent of the author as long as the author’s name and contact information are included. Example: Reproduced with permission from
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