World IBD Day.

Making the Invisible Visible

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is becoming a global epidemic. There has been a significant increase in IBD cases since the end of World War II. However, given the stigma associated with the illness, we don’t know for sure how prevalent the condition is.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, major categories of IBD, are invisible illnesses. Patients are often embarrassed by their symptoms and prefer to suffer in silence rather than risk stigmatization.

On World IBD Day, Altus Infusion joins the medical community across the United States and the rest of the world in raising awareness of these debilitating diseases.

This year’s theme is “Making the Invisible Visible,” where we hope to educate the public on aspects of the disease that are not visible but have a profound impact in the quality of life of IBD patients.

The latest estimates indicate that globally, more than 10 million individuals live with Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis.

The incidence of IBD has been increasing steadily since 1990, and in 2015, the CDC reported that approximately 3 million adult Americans were diagnosed with IBD. This accounts for about 1.3% of the adult population in the country.

As alarming as that number is, it becomes grimmer when we consider these estimates do not include children under the age of 18 who may also have IBD.

We still do not have a precise understanding of what causes IBD, but we do understand that IBD affects subpopulations differently, for example:

  • Ulcerative Colitis is more common amongst males than females
  • Crohn’s Disease is more prevalent amongst females than males
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease occurs more in Caucasians and people of Ashkenazic Jewish origin than in other racial and ethnic groups
  • Nonsmokers and ex-smokers have a higher incidence of Ulcerative Colitis
  • Crohn’s Disease is more common among smokers than nonsmokers

We also know that adults with IBD are more likely to have certain chronic health conditions that include:

  • Cardiovascular Disease (CVD)
  • Respiratory Disease
  • Cancer
  • Arthritis
  • Kidney Disease
  • Liver Disease

However, there is still a lot about IBD we do not currently understand. As a community, we need to focus on establishing a standardized criterion for diagnosing IBD as well as more research into the causes of the condition.

Treatment Options

Researchers have not found a cure for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. Therefore, current medical treatments have three main goals:

  • Achieving remission
  • Maintaining remission
  • Improving patient quality of life

Every patient experiences IBD differently. Thus, the approach to treatment needs to be tailored to the individual. However, certain factors can be used to determine the path to treatment for all patients, which include:

  • Disease severity
  • Anatomic location of disease
  • Previous response to a medication
  • Drug side effects
  • Comorbidities

Scientific advances in fields like genetics, immunology, and microbiology have significantly contributed to the development of new therapies for IBD patients.

A greater understanding of the underlying mechanisms of IBD has led to the development of biologic treatments. Biologics are used to treat people with moderate to severe Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis with high success rates and fewer side effects.

How Altus Infusion Can Help Your Practice

As a leader in biologic management services, Altus Infusion is in a unique position to help improve the lives of millions of Americans who are currently living with IBD.

By assisting private medical practices to incorporate in-office biologic treatments into their practice, we can make treatment more accessible and affordable for patients.

The stigma associated with digestive disorders, including IBD, makes talking about symptoms an uncomfortable experience for patients. Therefore, finding a physician patients trust becomes a crucial factor in their treatment course.

Additionally, being able to receive treatment in a friendly and familiar environment will serve to reduce stress levels and can result in improved treatment compliance.

For more information on how Altus Infusion can help improve the lives of your patients, send us a message.

At Altus Infusion, we care about the wellbeing of all patients, which is why we are dedicated to helping raise awareness of the different ways we can improve our health and live longer happier lives.

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Disclaimer:  The information provided on this blog is for informational purposes only. Any content regarding symptoms and possible treatment of illnesses is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Altus Infusion does not in any way guarantee or warrant the accuracy, completeness, or usefulness of the information published in its blog and will not be held responsible for the content of any blog publication.

You should always consult your primary care physician for specific medical advice.