For many, the new year may mean starting a new hobby, signing up for a co-ed softball league, or going out on a date. Whatever New Year’s resolutions you have to jump start your social life, don’t sit on the sidelines – the start of 2018 is the perfect time to get out and enjoy relationships both new and old!
But for patients who suffer from chronic diseases, like ulcerative colitis (UC), an inflammatory bowel disease characterized by chronic diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping,[i] embracing and maintaining a social life can be challenging. Symptoms can be so severe that some people with UC say that they feel like they spend more time in the bathroom than anywhere else.[ii] While the disease can occur at any age, it most often starts under the age of 30, and the symptoms can be debilitating.[iii] For some people, UC and its symptoms may not be easy to talk about in any relationship, and especially if you are meeting someone new.
A new survey of 301 U.S. UC patients who were surveyed online or by phone between August and October 2017 highlights that some UC patients may accept their symptoms as their way of life when it comes to living with UC, potentially forcing them to make lifestyle trade-offs.2,[iv] The survey explored a range of topics including day-to-day disease impact, goal setting and communication, and the results offer insights on the impact of the UC disease on their mental health, intimacy and patients’ personal relationships.
Recently in an interview, I had the privilege of speaking to Gastroenterologist Dr. Marla Dubinsky and UC patient Jordan Wilson as they shared some of the ins and outs of living with ulcerative colitis and also discussed the preliminary findings from the new survey.
Click here for the entire interview: https://www.youtube.com/embed/cGVE4ZEeOJo?rel=0
Marla C. Dubinsky, MD:
Dr. Dubinsky received her medical degree from Queen’s University, Canada. She completed her Pediatric Residency at Alberta Children’s Hospital, Calgary, Canada and her Clinical Fellowship in Gastroenterology and Nutrition at Sainte-Justine Hospital at the University of Montreal, Canada, She then completed her Research Fellowship in Inflammatory Bowel Disease at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles where she then served as the Director of the Pediatric Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center before coming to Mount Sinai as the Chief of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Hepatology at the Kravis Children’s Hospital at Mount Sinai. Her primary research focuses on the influence of genetics and immune responses on the variability in clinical presentations, treatment responses and prognosis of early-onset IBD. Her other interests include the impact of IBD on fertility and pregnancy. She has lectured widely both nationally and internationally and has published in 83 peer reviewed journals including Gastroenterology, The Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition, Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, and the American Journal of Gastroenterology. She also currently sits on the editorial boards of several leading journals, including Gastroenterology, American Journal of Gastroenterology, and Nature Clinical Practice Gastroenterology & Hepatology.
Served as members of the UC Narrative Global Advisory Panel and were compensated for their participation.
[i] Hanauer SB. Inflammatory bowel disease. The New England Journal of Medicine. 1996;334(13):841-8.
[ii] Data on file. Pfizer Inc, New York, NY. [UC Narrative Patient Survey. 2017.]
[iv] Data on file. Pfizer Inc, New York, NY. [UC Narrative Physician Survey. 2017.]
Interview courtesy: Pfizer