Patients celebrate resilience and fighting spirits on diwali eve
This diwali eve was different for patients of Ulcerative colitis ( IBD). In a first of its kind interactive session held at Fortis Hospital, Ludhiana patients and their family members shared their stories of fighting disease stigma and coping strategies with fighting spirits . Organised by Dr. Nitin Behl with team of doctors at Institute of GASTRO and liver diseases, this session was an eye opener and uplifting for all the patients . Around 30 patients shared their journey with this disease . Speaking on the occasion , Dr. Nitin Behl,Additional director , GASTRO and liver institute , explained how we commonly ignore early symptoms of this disease. About two decades ago, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) wasn’t very common in India, says Dr. Behl. Now, he says, the disease is seen country-wide, mostly in urban areas, and, alarmingly, among young people.IBD includes two disorders Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC). if a patient is having following symptoms like -- diarrhea, urgency to have bowel movement, abdominal cramps, blood in stools, weight loss, spondylitis, arthritis, loss of appetite and night sweats then these symptoms should warrant a consultation with a gastroenterologist.
Robin singh ( name changed) has been suffering from this disease for last 4 years . He feels stigma begins at the point of going to the doctor. He used to have bloody diarrhoea but was reluctant to speak about it with his family. Finally he consulted Dr. Behl who helped him overcome the disease and associated stigma. IBD is condition that happens behind closed doors,” said Dr. Nitin Behl. Many patients become socially isolated because of the condition, he said, sometimes leading to a disruption in education. Abdominal pain, a sudden urgency to use the toilet and sometimes a loss of control means that many patients remain at home rather than going out, he said.
Shweta , 24 year old professional shared her fight with depression , anxiety, fatigue and sleep disturbances due to IBD, and these compounded the social isolation.Dr. Monika , GastroSurgeon at fortis hospital explained that treatment in the form of drugs is available and effective, and surgery too, is an option for some patients.
Dr. Pinak , zonal director , Fortis Hosptials highlighted the efforts of hospital in making these drugs affordable by arranging them at special price so as to reduce financial burden. Dr. Nitin Behl highlighted that the exact cause of IBD is not known, but environmental factors — such as changing diets and refrigeration of food — could be some of the factors involved. Since the condition is irreversible and treatment is generally lifelong, the best option is prevention, he said – with healthy diet, exercise and giving up on smoking