Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Crohn's Flare Up Again

Man, every time I feel like I just might be getting ahead I seem to flare up. I hate to say it and I know it will disappoint everyone from Dr. Shafran to my wifey but I suck at taking my meds lately. I feel like with the Humira I was doing well and I want to go back on it. But I was having an allergic reaction to Humira. I bring it on myself and I know it, but I am having pain and way too many urgent "movements"! I need to be better about my Pentasa! Ok, short but had to Vent. Keep your heads up guys and gals!

Friday, April 25, 2008

Cimzia Approved to Treat Crohn's Disease - Another New Crohn's Drug

The US Food and Drug Administration has approved a new drug for sufferers of Crohn's disease. Certolizumab pegol (Cimzia) received approval for use in adults with moderate to severe Crohn's disease who have not responded to conventional therapies. This product was approved with a Medication Guide."Crohn's is a debilitating disease that disrupts the quality of life for its sufferers," said Julie Beitz, MD, Director, Office of Drug Evaluation III, Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, FDA, Rockville, Maryland. "This drug works to reduce the signs and symptoms of Crohn's, but it also carries risks that will require patients on it to be closely monitored by their physicians or other healthcare professionals."Patients treated with certolizumab will receive an injection every 2 weeks for the first 3 injections. Once benefit has been established, certolizumab should be given once every 4 weeks.The most common side effects of certolizumab are headache, upper respiratory infections, abdominal pain, injection-site reactions, and nausea.Patients taking certolizumab are at increased risk for serious adverse effects, including serious infections that can lead to hospitalisation or death. Because certolizumab affects the immune system, it can lower the body's ability to fight infections, such as tuberculosis and other opportunistic infections. Certolizumab is a tumour necrosis factor inhibitor and may cause lymphomas and other malignancies. Although an increased risk of tumours was not noted in studies of certolizumab, the modest size and relatively short duration of the controlled studies prevent any firm conclusion. Postmarketing studies and clinical trials will be required to obtain long-term safety data.Patients taking certolizumab should be educated about how to identify an infection and should be instructed to contact their healthcare professional at the first sign of infection. In cases of serious infections, the drug should be discontinued immediately.SOURCE: US Food and Drug Administration

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Living with Crohn's Disease - Crohn's Blog

Hey guys, have had a recent upswing in traffic here at the living with crohn's disease blog (livingwithcrohnsdisease.blogspot.com) and just wanted to welcome the new visitors. Feel free to comment or share your stories and advice about living with crohn's disease. Have a great weekend.

Also, have seen an increase in traffic in those looking for basic Crohn's Disease information and am hearing the question "What is Crohn's Disease?" Quick refresher for those folks:
An estimated 500,000 Americans have Crohn's disease, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes chronic inflammation of the intestinal tract. Like ulcerative colitis, another common IBD, Crohn's disease can be both painful and debilitating and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications.In my case, the disease is centralized near my terminal ilieum (near the colon). There's no known medical cure for Crohn's disease. However, therapies are available that may greatly reduce the signs and symptoms of Crohn's disease and even bring about a long-term remission. (When healthly I take about 16 pills a day, when in a flare up, I lose count.)

Friday, April 11, 2008

Pearl Jam Guitarist - Mike McCready New Crohn's Disease Benefit Concert

The Pearl Jam benefit concert will be held Thursday, July 20th at 8 p.m. at Portland's Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall.

In 2002, Pearl Jam guitarist, Mike McCready made public his 20-year battle with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis and has since been committed to raising awareness about the disease, which can cause abdominal pain, fever and weight loss that can disrupt peoples' lives.The benefit concert will take this subject, typically thought to be too delicate to discuss in public, out of the shadows and into the spotlight. McCready has been a spokesperson for the NW Chapter of CCFA and is also featured in a radio Public Service Announcement (PSA) released in January for the organization. The concert will benefit CCFA's search for a cure."Having struggled with Crohn's disease for more than 20 years and experienced first hand difficulties in getting a diagnosis and treatment, I want to help others learn about the disease, how it is affecting them and how to find ways to cope," said McCready.

Approximately 500,000 people in the U.S. have CD. However, people with CD are reticent to talk about their symptoms to healthcare providers, and therefore, often suffer for many years without a diagnosis or treatment.The consequence of not receiving medical care can be progression of the disease leading to surgical removal of affected parts of the digestive system. Although there is no cure for the disease, patients can currently get treatments to reduce symptoms and guidance on how to manage them in their daily lives.Those suffering from severe CD even go so far as to "bathroom map" -- scouting bathrooms in advance of basic outings to the grocery store, mall, or social activities because they never know when a severe attack will strike. This is not always easy when working or trying to lead a normal life. People report that CD has affected their emotional well-being and disrupted their educational pursuits, jobs and personal lives.The Pearl Jam benefit concert will be held Thursday, July 20th at 8 p.m. at Portland's Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Comedian David Cross and other special guests will be on hand for an evening of comedy and music to support CCFA. Tickets are available at all Ticketmaster outlets, online at http://www.ccfa.org/, or by phone at 503-224-4400.

Other Famous People, Celebrities and Athletes with Crohn's:
Mike McCready, Pearl Jam Guitarist
Anastacia Kirkland, singer
Theo Fleury – NHL
Shane Corson– NHL
David Garrard - NFL
Shannon Doherty, actress
Dwight Eisenhower
Marvin Bush, Dubya's brother
George "the animal" Steele, legendary wrestler

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Stop Eating Fish Oil! Omega-3 Fatty Acids Don't Help Prevent Crohn's Relapse

April 8, 2008 - Taking omega-3 fatty acids can be helpful for many things, but maybe not for preventing a relapse of Crohn's disease.

Two related studies show that omega-3s are not effective in preventing inflammation associated with Crohn's disease.

Crohn's disease is an inflammatory bowel disease that can affect anywhere along the digestive tract. With Crohn's, a patient may experience periods of remission and recurrence.

Researchers looked at whether high doses of omega-3s worked as maintenance therapy in patients with Crohn's disease in remission. A total of 738 people participated in two studies. No significant differences were observed between the two treatment groups in either trial.

In one study, 363 participants were assigned randomly to take either a daily omega-3 supplement or a placebo for 52 weeks. In the second study, 375 participants took the pills for 58 weeks.

Researchers say the results in the first and second study were similar. Here are some of the findings:

In the first study:

  • 54 patients treated with omega-3s had a relapse.
  • 62 patients who received a placebo relapsed.

There was no statistically significant difference in rate of relapse between the treatment and placebo groups.

In the second study:

  • 84 patients who took an omega-3 gelatin capsule had a relapse.
  • 94 patients who received a placebo had a relapse.

There was no statistically significant difference in rate of relapse between the treatment and placebo groups.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

New Genetic Marker for Crohn's Disease - Living with Crohn's Disease Research

FRIDAY, April 4 (HealthDay News) -- Researchers have identified new genetic markers for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in a study they say provides further evidence that people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are more likely to develop the conditions.
Up to 30 percent of people in the United States with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) have a family history of the condition, and about 25 percent of those families have histories of both Crohn's and ulcerative colitis, according to background information in this multi-center American and Canadian study. People of Ashkenazi Jewish (eastern European) descent are at least twice as likely to develop a form of IBD and are more likely to have a family history of IBD.
Crohn's is most frequently characterized by inflammation of the final section of the small bowel and parts of the colon, while ulcerative colitis involves inflammation of the internal lining of the rectum and colon.
In this study, researchers looked for DNA variations called single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in 993 families (244 of whom were Ashkenazi Jews) with Crohn's and ulcerative colitis.
Among those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, the researchers found evidence of genetic markers for familial Crohn's disease on previously identified areas of chromosomes 1 and 3. They also pinpointed a previously unidentified region of chromosome 13 in both Jewish and non-Jewish families with Crohn's.
The researchers also identified areas on chromosomes 2 and 19 that may be related to ulcerative colitis in both groups.
The findings were published in the March issue of Genes and Immunity.
Until now, no gene regions implicated in IBD were specific to Ashkenazi Jews, and there was no genetic evidence to explain why they were twice as likely to develop the disorder, said study senor author Dr. Steven R. Brant, a gastroenterologist at Johns Hopkins.
"This increased risk for some Jewish people makes our study and results especially significant, since this is the first sample size of Jewish families, 244, that was large enough to identify novel gene regions for familial predisposition in this ethnic group," Brant said in a prepared statement.

Crohn's Disease Blog