Skip to Accessibility Tools Skip to Content Skip to Footer

The A-Z of IBD (part 2)

Recently, I wrote the first part of the A-Z of IBD part 1; a guide for what life with IBD is actually like, one letter at a time! Today I’m back with part 2 of the A-Z of IBD, kicking off from the letter N. Enjoy!!

A new way to describe IBD

N is for no cure:

Whilst we might go into periods of remission, the disease is lifelong and whatever you’re told, there is no cure!

O is for ostomy bag:

This is one potential treatment option for those with IBD. When the bowel is severely damaged or the condition becomes life-threatening, a procedure is done to allow our bodily waste to reroute through into an ostomy bag rather than having your usual bowel movement. This is sometimes done on a temporary basis to rest the bowel or permanently.

P is for perianal disease:

Those with Crohn’s Disease can also struggle with disease activity in the perianal area. This presents itself as pain in the anus and rectum; along with incredibly sore abscesses and fistulas.

P is also for prep:

A delightful drink we have to take to ‘clear out’ our bowels before a colonoscopy. Think of it as a laxative multiplied by one thousand!

Q is for questran:

Some individuals with IBD have issues with their bile salts, either due to surgery or extensive disease. Questran is a medication that helps this issue and prevents diarrhea associated with bile acid malabsorption.

R is for Remicade:

This is another type of medication those with IBD can take.

S is for surgery:

Most IBD patients will experience some kind of surgery. Some of us might have a fistula, an abnormal tract which causes abscesses and which needs to be cut open. Others might have disease parts of our bowel cut out or have an ostomy bag.

T is for treatments:

IBD cannot be cured but there are many different treatment options; including surgery, steroids and immunosuppressants to help give patients the highest quality of life.

U is for understanding and empathy:

 Something so many of us crave, but don’t always achieve. IBD is such a complex condition that a little research to try to understand it and how we’re feeling goes such a long way.

V is for vitamin deficiencies:

Vitamin deficiencies are incredibly common for those of with IBD since we can struggle to keep food down and could suffer from malnutrition. Common deficiencies in IBD patients can include B12, Iron and Vitamin D.

X is for x-rays:

These are often done if an obstruction (blockage) is suspected. We also have x-rays to rule out TB; since some of our medications can increase the risk of this.

Y is for young person disease:

‘Oh you’re too young to have a serious illness!’ some might say. But actually, IBD is essentially a ‘young’ person disease. Although diagnosis occurs at any age, it most commonly rears its head between the ages of 16-35.1

Z is for zzzzz (or lack thereof!)

Exhaustion is common and a good night’s sleep is hard to come by! Many of us are kept up in the night with our symptoms, worsening fatigue.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

  1. Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America. (2014). The Facts About Inflammatory Bowel Disease [Brochure]. Author. Retrieved June 25, 2019, from IBD Factbook.pdf


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    6 months ago

    Love this article! Thanks for sharing and I love all your points.

    IBD weirdly is a “young person” disease. I was diagnosed at 21.

    I hope you are doing well these days.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

  • Poll