The Promise of Science: New Treatments for Crohn's and UC
Through the 13 years of living with Crohn's disease and the many years of experience I have been a part of the the IBD community as a moderator, contributor, and advocate, I fully understand the frustrations felt living with this disease and seeing medications repeatedly fail.
I had tried 5 medications before finding 1 that worked for me, and I know that number pales in comparison to the numerous medications others have tried in order to find relief.
New treatments always emerging
And while there are days it is tempting to give up hope, assuming that there will never be a "miracle drug" that works for your IBD, know that thanks to science, there is always something new coming along that can be your promise of a better tomorrow.
It feels like I see a new drug for Crohn's or UC patients almost every day. From Rinvoq to Stelara, medications that were once used for a different type of disease have now been green lit to treat IBD. Since being diagnosed in 2009, there have been countless drugs approved to treat Crohn's, many of which I tried, well beyond Remicade.
My treatment hopes (and fails) with Crohn's disease
I have been taking Entyvio since 2016, which has put me in remission, but that wasn't even an option back in 2012 when I started taking Humira. Looking back, I had been really excited and hopeful when I started doing the Humira injections.
Members of the Crohn's community shared with me their success stories, and since the previous medications had not worked for me (I was either allergic or lost response), I felt like I had a shot with Humira. I hoped I would also be sharing the story that it was my miracle drug.
Humira the Entyvio
In addition to having unpleasant side effects, I lost response to the drug 18 months after starting it, ending my Humira journey and slashing my dreams that I would soon be in remission. I remember feeling defeated, afraid that I had run out of options to treat my disease.
I started looking into stem cell transplant where they essentially restart your whole immune system and a 97% chance that your disease will not occur. I was desperate, fearing that my disease was progressing but science was not. Until Entyvio.
Advances in medicine for Crohn's and UC
Knowing that there are constant trials and revelations being made in IBD treatment makes it easier to swallow the tough times. Perhaps you are currently taking a medication that is not working as well as you had hoped, but that doesn't mean that 6 months from now a new drug won't be approved to treat your disease.
In addition to advances in medicine, there have also been advances in technology, making surgeries less invasive that require less recovery time. It's amazing how far science and technology have come in the last few years, and we can only assume that more will be available to us in the near future.
What is your experience with medications? Have you tried any of the newer ones, reaching remission?
How open are you about being diagnosed with IBD?