Saturday, December 3, 2016

Dear NFL Don't Suspend Seantrel Henderson for 10 Games for Crohn's Disease

As someone who actually suffers from Crohn's disease I felt it was important to discuss the recent suspension of NFL player Seantrel Henderson (who suffers from Crohn's disease) for using marijuana. Henderson who has been playing in the NFL for 3 years has been battling Crohn's disease since 2015. Seantrel was 6'7 and 330 pounds and then lost 50 pounds and then during the 2015 season he lost 50 pounds and surgeons had to remove 2.6 feet from his small and large intestine and he had to wear an ileostomy bag (he ended up having to have two surgeries to reconnect his intestines). For a period of three months he had to eat food through a tube (have NFL committee members ever had to deal with something like this?)

Now I have previously written a post here about the use of marijuana on Crohn's here. What I explained in that post was this study showing 90% of patients who used marijuana saw a clinical response and 45% of patients were in remission (which is on par with Humira and other biologics). Another study found that 70% of patients that used marijuana had a positive effect and may have reduced the need for surgery. Also it is worth pointing out that 48% of Crohn's patients have used marijuana in their lifetime (which is only slightly higher than the 42% of Americans that have admitted to using it during their lifetime. What is even more interesting is that people complain about the side effects of marijuana when nearly every drug has some type of side effect.  I would be interested to see what 10 years of taking marijuana would do to a body vs. 10 years of prednisone. 

What is quite interesting is that many NFL players (historical suspensions can be found here) only get suspended one game for domestic violence-which by the way in the outside world can have a punishment of up to 1 year in prison. Jared Allen in 2007 was suspended for 2 games after he received 2 DUI arrests (you know the driving that can actually harm incident bystanders). What is even worse is the players of the New Orleans Saints were suspended less time for organizing a bounty program to injure players from other teams. Even when you look at players who have violated the substance abuse policies that have been put into place players typically only get suspended 4 games. 

When a player in the NFL gets suspended they are not paid either which could lead to some major cash flow problems. Henderson signed a 4 year contract for $2.2 million. For 2016 Henderson is suppose to earn about $292,000. Each NFL teams plays 16 games per year. By not being able to play for 10 games Henderson would only make $110,000 (losing $182,000!). 

The NFL should not suspend Seantrel Henderson for 10 games for using marijuana for Crohn's disease. Why would you suspend a player for 1) using a substance that has been shown in peer reviewed journals to benefit in Crohn's disease 2) using a substance that is currently legalized in 26 states 3) who is trying to control a chronic illness  when other NFL players do far worse things (receive DUIs, assault girlfriends, and organize bounty rings and end up getting suspended fewer games. Not only is Seantrel not able to play the game he loves but he is not able to earn a living as well. The NFL should consider allowing players to use certain substances but only if they truly have a medical issue. Crohn's is a chronic and painful illness that no one should have to live with. 

Saturday, November 26, 2016

5 Year Crohn's Anniversary, Thanksgiving, Cramping, Feeling A Little Tired

So this past week I was on vacation from work and really enjoyed a break for once (I rarely take vacation-even when I do I only take a day or so which seems enough for me). In December I am due for another week vacation break however I have to prepare for a board exam in March 2017.  At any rate I was feeling pretty good and I had a review of my annual physical on Wednesday with my doctor and we were discussing how incredible it was that in that same week back in 2011 I was in terrible condition losing weight and very dehydrated. It was nice to look back and see how much progress I had made. Perhaps I spoke too soon...

When I woke up Thanksgiving morning around 7 a.m. I felt very tired and my whole stomach felt like it had a block of cement in it with some blunt pain. Now my bowel movements were perfectly normal however I just felt this major cramping and pain. I have my doctor's cell phone just in case and I felt that this pain warranted a call. I called him and he picked up immediately and asked me for my symptoms I told him I had some serious pain in my stomach, felt nauseated, and could barely move. He told me to see how things progress but call him back if I did vomit. I then returned to bed and slept a few more hours (I have mentioned in previous posts how I believe sleep can do wonders if you have Crohn's). Also he told me not to eat anything heavy like gravy and honestly I wasn't in the mood even to eat (more on eating later). After I got an extra few hours I felt much better (still some minor pain but a world of difference). Throughout Thanksgiving dinner I felt pretty good just tired but was able to eat everything that I wanted.

For the past couple of days I have been eating a bunch and got my appetite back. I have gained a few pounds but feel I can now shed some off (my weight is about 173 pounds-without clothes on). I  have been working out too which for some odd reason improves how my stomach feels.

Honestly, looking back I can't believe it has been 5 years since I was in the hospital. Sometimes I wonder what has changed if I were hospitalized today. My doctor told me when I saw him that sometimes Crohn's patients do exhibit joint pain when they have flares. Also he mentioned that usually you won' have an immediate flare with Crohn's (typically it takes a while for flare symptoms to come into affect. All I can say is that I am grateful everyday I am in great health. If someone 5 years ago told me I would not have any symptoms after being diagnosed I would have told them they were out of their mind.

Saturday, September 17, 2016

More Weight Loss Continues/Mild Cramping

Image result for weight loss man

In my last blog post I had discussed how I was continuing to lose weight (by working out). The highest my weight got to be was 180 pounds and I have slowly been inching that down. As of this morning I was down to 170 pounds (without clothes on) which felt nice. These days I feel pretty good and have still been eating better too. My ideal weight would be about 165 pounds. Honestly, I would like to weight a little less for two reasons 1) to fit better into my pants and 2) to be able to eat an occasional dessert. Actually, I have been very good about not eating any sugar for the past month which I think has improved my sleep and my mood. I still am downing grapes like crazy (which are pretty good and decently healthy for you). Sometimes my weight comes down and then spikes up a half of pound or so. The general direction of my weight has been down which I am happy about.

Last night I went to the movies and had some serious cramping. I went to the bathroom to relieve myself and felt so much better after having a bowel movement. I felt somewhat warm during the movie and bought some bottled water (a small bottled water was $4!). During the movie I actually put it over my stomach which felt nice. When I came home I took a hot bath and put a ice wrap over my stomach which improved things. I will try to sleep well tonight so I can get oxygen to my stomach. Sleep to me seems to have a major impact on Crohn's and general health.

Friday, September 9, 2016

Weight Loss Continues

So in my last post I wrote how I was 180 pounds and had declined to 176 pounds. Well as I went I the scale tonight I was pushing only 173 pounds roughly which feels quite nice. As I mentioned in the previous post the weight gain came around my birthday-lots of desserts, cakes, and dinners plus work was pretty stressful and busy which leads to eating all types of things.

I honestly feel really good in many aspects. My diet has changed a little bit too. Before I wasn't very mindful of what I ate and basically said "whatever". These days I look at whatever I am about to eat and think "is it worth it". At night after my work out I may have a light dinner, along with some grapes, and my dessert is some cottage cheese and crackers (honestly it is pretty good!). When I home I munch on grapes to distract my stomach from getting something too rich. A big change I have made too is working out nearly every day. I honestly haven't done this since I was in graduate school. I honestly miss feeling that burn in my muscles the day after and pushing myself to be better.

The other thing I noticed is that I seem to have more energy. I honestly have really cut back on sugar so this may be a reason why. I feel as if I get more sleep even though I go to bed the same time as I did before too. This is of course another added benefit.

So I hope to continue my path down shedding weight. My ideal weight would probably be roughly 160-165 pounds which is odd because when I was there before I felt bloated. However, since I have been working out I feel in better shape then before and really am more defined.

Sunday, August 28, 2016

Recent Weight Gain/Loss

I apologize for not writing in quite some type. Work has been very busy and I have also been studying for a board exam as well. Also I have felt remission free as well so nothing really to blog about. One thing that has changed recently is my weight. No I haven't been losing weight but gaining weight. Most of my life I was always on the lean side maybe 150-165 pounds mostly and I am 5'11. When I was maybe in middle school I was heavier but then when I was about 16 I started working out. I really do love to work out. After working out I always like feeling that burn either from going on the elliptical or using weights. Unfortunately I have been so busy that I barely had time to work out. Also add in the fact that a couple of weeks ago it was my birthday which made it dessert galore (which I almost can never pass up). 

Image result for weight gain
My weight peaked out at 180 pounds which actually puts me in the near overweight category from a BMI metric. I honestly hadn't been paying attention to my weight. The only thing I noticed was it was harder to fit into my pants. I can't believe when I was in the hospital I weighed 125 pounds. When I last blogged about my weight gain was back in 2012 when I was only pushing 162 pounds (even my father made a comment about my weight gain). Something is different about then and now. When I look at myself in the mirror these days I actually look in good shape since I have been working out. Also over time I have spend more time toning my muscles which gives me a more defined physique making me looked more filled out compared to thin frame. 

I have been working out recently to bring down my weight from the 180 pounds to roughly now 176 pounds which isn't a lot but I want to still continue down the path of good health. Also I have been practicing eating healthier and have been buying grapes as a snack food to eat instead of my usual chips and cookies. I think in the long run paying attention to my health will make life easier down the road. Hopefully these small steps now will pay off in the long run. 

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Foltx (Vitamin B) Causing Nausea for Crohn's?

Well I haven't blogged in a while (primarily since  I have been feeling good). My Fourth of July weekend went fairly well (I ate well too with a burger and some tasty Fourth of July cookies). This morning when I woke up I was fine. However, the rest of the day seemed to be a pain. Let me go back to last night when I was in bed and really didn't sleep well. I had to do something for a client this morning and kept waking up every 3 hours thinking I forgot to do something (even though the task I had to do was fairly simple). Sleep and Crohn's never mix. I honestly believe that high quality sleep causes less stomach pain/fatigue/symptoms. When I woke up though I really didn't have any pain. Around 10 A.M. I went to the dentist for a usual cleaning and that was fine. I was still doing okay. Maybe around lunch time is when I really noticed it and started holding my hand over my stomach massaging it. 

By the time I left work I felt so exhausted (my bowel movements all say were normal-however they were green which I have seen before). I was thinking to what in my life changed and I realized that I had taken Foltx the night before. One of the side effects of Foltx is nausea which is pretty much what I felt towards the late afternoon. I got off work and ordered some chicken noodle soup and a grilled chicken sandwich. After dinner I sat in a hot bath for a while and that seems to help. In a little bit I might go to CVS for a cooling pad for my stomach. Just before I put some ice on my stomach and it felt pretty good. I think this should be a temporary issue since I don't have any loose bowel movements or anything else going on.

My life recently has been stressful due the company I work for making a transition which is a promotion for me but make me much more involved. Also I am studying for a board exam toward year end as well which gives me very little downtime/social time/resting which can be a tad depressing. I know over time this will go away after I pass the exam and once I get use to my usual work duties. 

Tonight I plan to go to bed early and relax. I actually won't study for once which is nice. Stress has seemed to be in my life lately and I am trying to reduce it. Although even though I have this minor pain I am still glad I am still in remission and always am thankful for each wonderful day I am given. 

Friday, May 20, 2016

Minor Pains This Week and A Little Blood Too

I actually haven't blogged in a while (because I have been feeling relatively well-which is always a good thing). Yesterday, when I woke up and went to the bathroom before work I noticed some blood (and had an o'crap moment-no pun intended!). This past week I have felt a little worn down and tired. Also I noticed I made a few mistakes at work that I don't usually make (I guess from being tired/some blood in my bowels). Last night I got a decent amount of sleep but still not bad to normal. Not only have I been working a lot but I have also been studying for a board exam later in the year (so lots of stress). This past week I also drank a little bit (some wine) which can lead to flare ups as well. To help the situation I have been doing my hot baths which do add some benefit (I still remember when I had many bowel movement in one day and sat in a hot bath I felt as if I was cured-for the day of course).

I take my Humira shot tomorrow night. I can't believe June 6, 2016 will mark 4 years I have been on it! I am really surprised and lucky for how great the drug has worked. Recently I heard a GI say that the longest he has seen a patient last on Humira is about 12 years. This would mean I could have another possible 8 years. These days there are more options for treating Crohn's which is always a good thing. Hopefully the FDA will continue to approve drugs to treat Crohn's which will help so many people who are struggling often times in silence.

Saturday, April 9, 2016

How To Select A Colon Surgeon for Crohn's/Ulcerative Colitis

Although, I haven't had surgery yet I always prepare myself for that day and what it will mean for me. I have had Crohn's since 2011 and still haven't required any type of surgery. When I looked online though to find what to look for in a colon surgeon for Crohn's or ulcerative colitis I really didn't find anything great so I decided to write this post.

Doctors honestly go to school for a very long time (college, medical school, residency, and possible fellowship). There are many types of surgeons (orthopedic, plastic, pediatric etc.) who really specialize in only certain types of surgery. You also have general surgeons who really see a garden variety of all types of surgeries. Colon surgeons specialize in correcting diseases of the digestive tract. Colon surgeons even do colonoscopies! You can find a colon surgeon near you by using this website. Your GI or doctor will recommend a surgeon typically (sometimes they can be general surgeons). Websites you can use to find reviews of colon surgeon are RateMDs, HealthGrades, and even Yelp. RateMDs currently has the highest rated colon surgeon in the country is Dr. Bidhan Das in Houston, Texas (here is a list of the top colon surgeons in the United States). If you are curious too you can also use the U.S. News and World Report for GI/Colon Surgery here to see if there is a good center near you. Personally, I am okay with traveling a good way if the provider I can get is top notch. 

To be board certified in just general surgery a surgeon has to perform a minimum of 750 procedures in a 5 year residency with 150 procedures as the chief resident surgeon, 25 cases have to be in critical cases, 25 cases have to be as a teaching assistant. To be board certified in general surgery also requires a 300 multiple choice exam (study guide is here if you are curious what they learn). Not only do general surgeons have to take an exam but have to maintain their skills by getting re-certified every 10 years. You can check if your surgeon is certified here

After general surgery residency surgeons who want to specialize in colon surgery typically do a fellowship for additional training. I found a site that shows all the current fellowship programs for colon surgery. Programs vary in training but for instance at the Mayo Clinic their colon residents perform 150 colon resections, 80 laparoscopic colostomies, and 250 colonoscopies. After residency colon surgeons take a board exam for colon surgery which is broken into two parts. The first part is a six hour multiple choice exam followed by the second part which is three thirty minute oral exams from other colon surgeons.  Clearly once a colon surgeon practice is done with residency and their fellowship they have received a tremendous amount of education and cases regarding surgery. 

 My advice would be select a doctor who is board certified in colon surgery, that seems competent, someone that you feel comfortable with, and who has a good track record of performing cases similar to yours. Actually this article (article links to the actual study here) shows that there is an 80/20 rule in colon surgery where a handful of surgeons do most of the procedures. Surgeons who performed more than 162 resections per year had a 50% lower stoma rate and ICU rates, 30% reduction in risk of complications, and 25% reduction in the readmission rate after 30 days compared to the low-volume surgeons (less than 43 resection cases for the year). The Cleveland Clinic performs over 5,000 colon procedures a year (260 for just Crohn's). 

Questions for Surgeon (write them down/type them so you don't forget them!).

1. What has been your experience with the surgery you will be performing on me (you can ask for the number of cases they have performed)?
2. How many cases do you typically perform in a week?
3. What surgical option will give the best quality of life for the long run?
4. What are the pros/cons of performing this procedure?
5. Will you be performing the operation? 
6. What can I do as a patient to make your job easier? 
7. What is my diet after surgery?
8. When can I resume normal activities?

I typically provide the medical provider I am seeing with a detailed history of major events in my Crohn's timeline history (starting Humira, fecal transplant, flares, etc.-they really like seeing the progression of the patient).

I hope this post is helpful if you are trying to find a colon surgeon for Crohn's or ulcerative colitis. 

Friday, March 25, 2016

Prostate Issues/Crohn's and Sleep

Well not this past week but the week before I had some unusual symptoms (actually not Crohn's related). On Sunday night I kept having to get up to go to the bathroom which was pretty annoying. I didn't keep track of how many times I had to go but it was probably at least 6 or 7 (usually this is how many times some Crohn's patients have to go to the bathroom for other reasons). Anyways, I thought "well maybe I drank too much water" and let it pass. The next night the same thing happened. I was only able to sleep for maybe 4 hours and felt very tired at work (the day seems like 48 hours when you don't get your sleep). I called my internist who I was able to schedule an appointment with the next day (very efficient). I went in and explained my symptoms and his first reaction was a prostate infection. I thought this was somewhat off considering I was only 29 years old and never had this type of issue before (of course stranger things have occurred). So my doctor then did a rectal exam which I had one before in graduate school and passed out. The doctor actually did a good job after I assume the position and it wasn't invasive at all. The doctor then did some blood work and a urine sample (actually I learned that it is better to do a rectal exam before the urine test since then they can see if there is any bacterial is the urine). My symptoms have seemed to pass. I actually did have a similar issue like this back in December 2012 after taking an anti-fungal drug (frequent urination was a common side effect).

Well today is good Friday and I am off today and relaxing on vacation. I feel great and feel as if I got a good amount of sleep an will continue to do so this weekend. This time of year is busy at work with tax season but I think some rest is just what the doctor ordered (I haven't had an actual break since Christmas). Good sleep, eating light, and vitamin D seem to get me in super shape. Now all I have to do is resist the Easter candy.

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Weight Gain and SCD-Like Diet

I have a scale in my bathroom, however I haven't used it in a while since the battery was low. I installed new batteries and was shocked at what I learned. I am normally in the 160-something range for my weight and was surprised that I had shot up to 171 pounds. However, I wrote a post here about weight gain. However, when I look at myself in the mirror I really don't see much fat (I looked more filled out. Given this I am eating less sweets and brownie sundaes and more fruits, vegetables, and other good things to not only reduce my weight but also try to have less carbohydrates. My last post was about the specific carbohydrate diet and although I think it would be very difficult to subscribe to the complete diet I think just reducing my carbohydrate intake may be beneficial. I have had chicken and cheese plates (no sandwiches) to cut down on the carbohydrates along with some grapes to get fruit. I still remember in my dark days before I was hospitalized thinking eating a banana would save me. 

I would like to lose some weight however right now I am busy working during tax season, studying for an exam at the end of the year, and working out every day is a commitment. I would like to get down to 165 by the end of the month. We shall see were this ends up. 

Sunday, February 28, 2016

Another Night Of Crohn's Cramping...Sleep To The Rescue

On Saturday morning I woke up around 9 A.M. (this was after I went to bed around 4 A.M.). Usually on weekends I go to bed later but typically I fall asleep around 1 A.M. or so. On Friday I wasn't in any pain just watching Netflix and YouTube online. Anyways, since I only got 4 hours of sleep my stomach was cramping a little bit. However, the pain got worse as the day wore on. Last night (Saturday night) I was really cramping and tried to take a hot bath which helped a little bit. My strategy then was to use some ice on my stomach and that seemed to numb the pain a little bit which felt nice. I was able to sleep pretty well last night and fell asleep around 11 P.M. since I was so tired and woke up around 8:30 A.M. this morning. This helped compensate for some of the sleep but I still feel a little tired. I really do think sleep is an important factor in not only maintaining a healthy lifestyle and aiding memory but it seems to really help cramping for Crohn's. 

I see my GI this week for a regular checkup (and also to get my Humira renewed). I will ask him the question about the SCD diet I wrote about in my last post (I will show him the picture too). Overall though I still feel pretty though, although in the back of my mind I wonder if and when I will have my next flare (I use to think about this more, however I stopped thinking about it as much because always worrying about it will prevent me from living the best life possible. 

Saturday, February 20, 2016

Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) Does It Help Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis?

(The image above shows the before an after photos from a colonoscopy of a patient who used the specific carbohydrate diet)

So for years I have heard about the specific carbohydrate diet (SCD). Initially I was skeptical about it given there wasn't lots of evidence looking at how much it actually impacted people with Crohn's or ulcerative colitis. The specific carbohydrate diet is a very strict diet that is based on the theory that carbohydrates, dairy, and sugar products cause inflammation when trying to be digested. Also it should be noticed the SCD has no dairy or grains so your body somehow has to make up the nutrients for this absence. A book was written about the topic called Breaking the Vicious Cycle by Elaine Gottschall who had a daughter who had ulcerative colitis. After about 10 days her daughter started to show improvements. Within 2 years after starting the diet she was symptom free.

The issue I have had with SCD is that there wasn't really any data outside of patient stories claiming that it worked to support whether or not it worked. What I wanted to see was a before and after of colonoscopy images taken before and after the diet to measure the difference. For years I had been trying to find this from people who claimed they were "cured" (in remission a while).

I came across a case study that was written in the Case Reports of Gastroenterology of a 73 year old woman physician who had ulcerative colitis since 1997. After usual therapies failed she started the SCD diet and within 3-6 months saw improved. Within a year no pain or diarrhea occurred. For her diet she excluded wheat, soy, barley, corn, and limited rice. Her main meals consisted of fish, lean meat, fruit, and non-starchy vegetables. After 2 years of being on the diet a colonoscopy was performed and there was no evidence of inflammation.

Another study from October 2014 in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition showed clinical and mucosal improvement not only after 3 months (75% of patients were in clinical remission after 3 months) but even a year (85% of the patients who remained on the diet were still in remission) after they started the SCD diet. What is interesting is that 10 child patients started the study and only 1 dropped out since they were not able to comply.

A study of 50 patients in the summer of 2015 from Rush University that was done on patients who were in remission showed that 52% of Crohn's patients were able to stop medicatons. What I found interesting is 66% of patients said it took on average about almost months before there symptoms were resolved.

This fairly recent study from November 2015 with again pediatric patients with inflammatory bowel disease showed improvement for both Crohn's and ulcerative colitis. Of course as with all studies the common disclaimer of saying that more studies have to be conducted to assess the safety and efficacy is needed.

 In my own treatment plan I would use it as a back up to a back up plan and just see if it had any effect. Personally I would find it very hard to give up some of the foods I really enjoy: Mexican, chocolate, etc. With that said I have made improvements to my diet from my pre-Crohn's days of adding more salads, vegetables, and some fruit to my diet. Also I would say I am more mindful of what I eat than before I had Crohn's.

My own belief is that a SCD diet can help inflammatory bowel disease. Although, there is only some evidence that it helps I am open to the idea that it could improve the lives of patients with both ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Doctors are not open to this idea of course. I personally would like to see more evidence with more patients. It would be really nice to see more data and studies showing that SCD diet was helpful to add yet another treatment for inflammatory bowel disease. Maybe scientists could even develop a drug to mimic the effects of SCD diet.

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Update: Feeling Better No Flare/Took Humira

So in my previous post and I talked about my mini flare that I had in the prior week. I have been doing better ever since. I had felt some cramping and had a few loose bowel movements but it tended to get better towards the end of the week. My sleep has been pretty good. What is really strange is that this morning I went to sleep at around 4 A.M. and woke up around 9 A.M. and felt a little tired but not as much as I usually do (or the abdominal cramping I have when I typically don't get my sleep. 

It looks like my mini-flare was thankfully was short lived. I haven't woken up in the middle of the night for any bowel movements. Tonight I took my Humira shot and thankfully nothing leaked. I would estimate that pretty rarely do my shots leak. Thankfully I am feeling good and intend to keep this up! 

Monday, February 8, 2016

Mini Flare, Super Bowl, and Humira

So I have had a little cramping lately and it isn't too bad (more of just being annoying). This morning I woke up around 1:30 A.M. in some pain and had to use the bathroom for a bowel movement. I honestly don't remember much but remember going back to bed and feeling a little better. Anyways, I think the pain stems from the fact that the last time I took Humira it did leak somewhat (this is rare but can happen-more likely when I have to inject the stomach area). Usually it takes a few days for Humira to kick in. Since I didn't as much sleep as I want I am heading to bed early tonight and took a hot bath before to relax. Last night was the Super Bowl and I really enjoyed watching the game but probably had too much to eat. For dinner tonight I just some chicken noodle soup and a light chicken sandwich to ease my stomach. Generally, my mode for mini flares or flare is sleep, bath in hot water, and eat well. By eating well I mean not eating anything greasy. I like to think of the stomach/intestines as a brown paper bag and think about the food I consume. If the food I consume would leave a grease mark in the brown paper bag I probably should avoid it but if not then it is okay (note this is not scientific by any means). 

Hopefully lots of sleep and staying hydrated will help me out. At work today I was fairly tired and by 2 P.M. was ready to head home (but I stayed until 5 P.M.). Usually my mini-flares can be solved with a fair amount of sleep. I am looking forward to taking my next Humira shot and hopefully finding some relief. Although, I have some minor pain I am grateful for my general good health and well-being. 

Saturday, February 6, 2016

Foltx Helping Energy Levels for Crohn's

So I went for my physical back in November and my doctor had recommended that I take more vitamin B. He prescribed Foltx which is a combination of different things (folic acid, B6, and B12). I was somewhat curious what effect it would have on me. I noticed pretty quickly it made me more alert, more energy, and I felt less tired. I already take a high dose of Vitamin D which seems to make me feel very good the day after I take it. For a while I wondered if I could take anything to boost my energy and it seems like I have found it.

My Crohn's seems still be under control. I have had a few cramps at night the past week. I took my Humira shot last week and there was some leakage. Although, I am fairly careful leakage is rare and can happen. I tend to notice that I cramp more when I have some leakage the week after. Usually the greatest chance of leakage is when I have to take the shot near my stomach (the angles can be difficult at times). Other than this I really can't complain about how I feel. Although, I do know Humira will one day not work (but there are a number of different drugs out there that I can take). I have heard some patients who took Humira for over a decade before they lost response to it. I would be very impressed and happy if this happened but like always just take it one day at a time and am grateful for a calm GI system. :-)

Sunday, January 3, 2016

2015 Year In Review

Well 2015 marked a good of pretty good health for Crohn's! I was diagnosed with Crohn's in December 2011 and really am surprised and lucky for how well my health has been. For my annual physical my doctor said I was in tip top shape and looked like a regular young healthy guy. I feel great and am able to do everything I was able to do before I was diagnosed with Crohn's. Every now and then I have a cramp but I really am not complaining. Humira has worked wonderfully and right now I am taking it every 2 weeks.

The only thing that really happened in 2015 health wise was some anal fissures which I wrote about here in the fall which originally started around March. What really seem to help is a good amount of sleep, working out, and eating reasonably well (yes I still have a brownie sundae every now and then but this is also why I work out :-).

To be perfectly honest I haven't been keeping track as much of the developments in Crohn's as I use to for a couple of reasons. The first reason is that so much has changed even since I initially got diagnosed that it is so hard to keep up with every new trial, drug, procedure, etc. that comes out. I remember when I first got diagnosed I would stay up late reading different things on forums (which were pretty much inaccurate and just opinion based). The second reason why I haven't been keeping up is I have been very busy at work and also studying for an exam that takes many months to prepare for. I took a vacation recently which was nice to just hang out and relax for a while. However, I still follow Crohn's news and sometimes I will see something that catches my eye. One thing I remember my GI telling me was the purpose of a chronic illness is to make it so the patient doesn't know they have it. At this point in time I am at that point and hope I continue to remain there in the near distant future.