For a parent of a child diagnosed with a chronic illness like Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, the future can be scary and overwhelming. Resources are available to help families make sense of many diseases and ailments, and some of these organizations even offer tools specifically designed to help support the care of a child patient
Understanding Pediatric Chronic Illnesses
How families can manage inflammatory bowel diseases
(Family Features) For a parent of a child diagnosed with a chronic illness, the future can be scary and overwhelming. Assembling a medical team and beginning to formulate a treatment plan, even becoming familiar with a glossary of new terminology, can be taxing.
Resources are available to help families make sense of many diseases and ailments, and some of these organizations even offer tools specifically designed to help support the care of a child patient. For example, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is a leading resource for families navigating inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
What is IBD?
Crohn’s disease may occur in any part of the large intestine (also called the colon). In fact, it can happen anywhere in the entire digestive system. However, it most commonly develops right where the small and large intestine meet. In ulcerative colitis, only the colon and rectum are affected.
No one knows for sure what causes Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, but experts believe several factors may lead to the development of the diseases, including genes, environmental elements like viruses and bacteria, and inappropriate immune reactions.
What are the symptoms?
“It is critical that if you suspect your child has inflammatory bowel disease, you seek care with a qualified pediatric gastroenterologist who can carefully and efficiently help determine the diagnosis and begin a treatment plan to help your child feel better, thrive, and maximize quality of life,” said Andrew Grossman, MD, pediatric gastroenterologist and chair of the pediatric affairs committee of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation.
How does it affect children?
They are often overwhelmed by the emotional and psychological side effects of the disease.
Learning how to manage the disease is not always easy for children. Parents play an important role in educating their children about IBD, including teaching them they need to take their health seriously and take responsibility for caring for themselves.
How can IBD be managed?
Maintaining your child’s health may also involve lifestyle accommodations, like organizing your schedule for ample bathroom breaks when away from home. You may also need to work closely with your child’s school to manage absences and academic performance along with any medical care that needs to take place during school hours.
Many families also find value in building a network of supportive friends and loved ones. One example, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation offers Camp Oasis – a co-ed residential camp program that allows children to meet others like them in a safe and enriching environment.
Another resource is justlikemeibd.org , a website featuring stories and videos from teens with IBD as well as information on school, dating, managing stress and diet, research updates, and resources for parents.
Is your child ready to manage his or her own care?
Photos courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation
It’s a common misconception: the older you get, the more frequently you need to use the bathroom at night. Nocturia, which forces individuals to get up more than once per night to urinate, is a leading cause of sleep loss and can put one’s health at risk.
Waking up to go to the bathroom multiple times per night? It’s not because you’re ‘getting old’
(Family Features) It’s a common misconception: the older you get, the more frequently you need to use the bathroom at night. Did you know waking up more than once per night to urinate is a medical condition known as nocturia? Shockingly, 64 percent of American adults do not know.
A recent Harris Poll of more than 2,000 U.S. adults, endorsed by The Simon Foundation for Continence, National Association for Continence (NAFC) and the Prostate Conditions Education Council (PCEC), found that approximately one-third of them suffer from nocturia. Nocturia, which forces individuals to get up more than once per night to urinate, is a leading cause of sleep loss and can put one’s health at risk.
“Before receiving treatment for nocturia, I typically wound up making five trips to the bathroom each night, which I knew wasn’t normal,” said Jack Fagan, a 67-year-old resident of Sewell, NJ. “Treatment has made a noticeable impact on my quality of sleep. I find myself more refreshed and have the energy to enjoy time with family and friends.”
Most people living with nocturia (72 percent) reported they are negatively impacted by the condition at night; 43 percent of whom have trouble falling back to sleep, 12 percent indicated they wake up their partners and 10 percent expressed nervousness about tripping or falling while walking to the bathroom. The impact of nocturia-induced sleep loss can be wide-ranging, affecting physical and mental health. Sixty-one percent of nocturia sufferers experience daytime issues as a result of nighttime urination, including: drowsiness, irritability and reduced productivity and concentration.
Sixty-six percent of nocturia sufferers surveyed have never discussed their symptoms with a healthcare professional; half of respondents reported they thought it was a normal part of aging, and 27 percent believed nothing could be done to remedy the problem.
“We see patients who have suffered with nocturia for many years, as it slowly progresses from getting up twice to over four times per night to urinate,” said Roger Dmochowski, M.D., a nocturia sufferer and professor within the department of urologic surgery at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. “In my personal and professional experience, nocturia can have serious implications for an individual’s emotional state and daily life, due to sleep disruption, if not diagnosed and treated. Up until recently, we didn’t have effective treatments.”
The Harris Poll survey was funded by Avadel Pharmaceuticals and Serenity Pharmaceuticals.
Photo courtesy of Getty ImagesSOURCE:
JPA Health Communications
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