• awareness,  coping with flare,  Crohn's,  Diet,  Disease Prevention,  living with IBD,  Nutrition,  Ostomy,  Ulcerative Colitis

    Can a Low FODMAP Diet Help IBD? 7 Things to Know

    Written by Emily Willingham, PhD Medically reviewed by Matthew Hamilton, MD When patient advocate and author of the blog OwnYourCrohns, Tina Aswani Omprakash, 35, reached an impasse with symptoms related to her inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), she turned in frustration to her nutritionist. On her nutritionist’s suggestion, Omprakash, who lives in New York City, decided to give the low-FODMAP diet a try. What Are FODMAPs Anyway? FODMAPs stands for “fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols,” all sugars that are common in foods. If these small sugars go unabsorbed and hang around in the intestines long enough, they can produce diarrhea and abdominal bloating and cramping, depending on where they linger. People who…

  • colorectal cancer,  Colorectal Surgery,  Crohn's,  Fistulizing Disease,  Gratitude,  living with IBD,  Mindfulness,  Ostomy,  Pelvic pain,  stigma,  Traveling with IBD,  Ulcerative Colitis,  Valentine's Day

    7 IBD-Inspired Gift Ideas for Valentine’s Day

    By Tina Aswani Omprakash February 13, 2019 One woman living with Crohn’s shares thoughtful Valentine’s gift ideas for the IBD warrior in your life. Valentine’s Day can be an anxiety-inducing holiday for many people. Especially for those of us living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). If we’re single, our minds might run wild about when we might meet that special someone. And if we’re in a relationship, we might worry about experiencing symptoms during a romantic moment. But it’s important to remember that Valentine’s Day isn’t just a day for us to fret over romance. It’s a day for us to celebrate all kinds of love: love for significant others, family, and…

  • advocacy,  awareness,  coping with flares,  Crohn's,  living with IBD,  Ostomy,  stigma,  Ulcerative Colitis

    6 Myths About IBD in Minority Patients, Busted

    Here are the most common misconceptions surrounding Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis in minority populations. By Brianna Majsiak Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs) like Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis (UC) are not easy conditions to talk about. But an even rarer topic of conversation is how minority patients are affected by these chronic and debilitating diseases. Although IBD has predominantly affected whites in the past, a study published in August 2016 in the journal Inflammatory Bowel Disease found an increase in the rate of IBD in minority groups in the United States over the past two decades. “Patients may be reluctant to identify as having ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, so our current numbers may really underrepresent these minority groups,”…

  • acceptance,  advocacy,  awareness,  Crohn's,  living with IBD,  Ostomy,  stigma,  Ulcerative Colitis

    Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week: Minorities, Mental Health & IBD

    This IBD Awareness Week, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation shared a video of me discussing one aspect of being South Asian: maintaining privacy. Privacy is a major concern when it comes to South Asian Americans sharing their personal IBD journeys. There is a phrase in Hindi & Urdu called “Log Kya Kahenge?” It is a cultural phenomenon that expresses deep concern for how society will view patients and their families once their stories are public. But the reality is that suffering in silence can lead to deep-rooted shame while deterring self-care and self-advocacy, two very important aspects to our medical care. In this video, I talk about my experiences as a…

  • awareness,  caregivers,  Crohn's,  living with IBD,  Ulcerative Colitis

    Caregivers: The Greatest Blessing of All

    As we wrap up Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week, I reflect on the greatest blessing of all in my IBD journey: my caregivers, my dear mother and husband. From the constant rides into the city for doctors’ visits to packing wounds and changing PICC line dressings while helping me walk and shower after surgery, Mom, you picked me up when I was at my lowest points in life. From driving me to Cleveland Clinic and flying me to Mayo Clinic for surgery while spending countless sleepless nights in the hospital, Anand, you stood by my side when society told you you could have done better. Many of our IBD journeys…

  • acceptance,  advocacy,  awareness,  colorectal cancer,  Colorectal Surgery,  coping with flares,  Crohn's,  living with IBD,  Ostomy,  stigma,  Ulcerative Colitis

    IBD Awareness Week Line-Up: Diversity, Mental Health & More!

    Today kicks off Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week! The lead-up to this week has included my (very exciting!) feature on the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s website for general IBD awareness and for racial and ethnic minorities. I also had the honor of sharing my IBD story with reporters from various media outlets who attended the Foundation’s briefing this past week. In discussing my story, I talked about the cultural impact of being a minority woman with Crohn’s Disease and a permanent ostomy. Being a different race, gender, sexuality and/or ethnicity adds a whole other layer of complexity to the IBD experience. I really wanted to bring to light how complicated our…

  • acceptance,  advocacy,  awareness,  coping with flares,  Crohn's,  living with IBD,  Ostomy,  patient rights,  Ulcerative Colitis

    Allowing Acceptance In

    Thanksgiving season is upon us, dearests! As we prepare to celebrate life, love and laughter with our families and friends, it may be tough to avoid the elephant in the room: our chronic illnesses and disabilities. As hard as this may be, we can get through the holidays together by advocating for better quality of life and allowing acceptance of our conditions in! Our bodies may not be in perfect condition but let’s be thankful today and always for the moments of health, peace and joy that shine their way into our lives. ‘Tis the season to allow acceptance to pervade our lives to cultivate more love and better self-care!…

  • acceptance,  advocacy,  awareness,  coping with flares,  Crohn's,  living with IBD,  Ostomy,  stigma,  Ulcerative Colitis

    My Feature During Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week

    Pleased to announce that this year I have the honor of representing my fellow IBD warriors for Awareness Week (12/1-12/7) nationally on the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s website! REPRESENT!! Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) comes in all shapes, sizes, colors, ages, genders and sexual orientations. IBD affects 1.6 million people and counting in the U.S. alone and over 5 million worldwide. This chronic, autoimmune and often invisible condition is growing by leaps and bounds unfortunately every single year. It wreaks havoc on our guts, bodies and mental health. It behooves us to recognize and de-stigmatize IBD and chronic illness in general so that folks like us can live fuller, happier lives. I…

  • advocacy,  awareness,  Crohn's,  Disease Prevention,  Influenza,  living with IBD,  Ulcerative Colitis,  Vaccinations

    Don’t Forget Your Flu Shot This Fall

    As I got up from dinner to use the bathroom, the room began to spin. Thinking I was just a bit dizzy, I continued on my way to the bathroom. I didn’t know it then, but the next five months of my life would be like a carousel as I stumbled my way through labyrinthitis — an inner ear infection — and a symptom that can occur along with the influenza virus. This happened nearly two years ago, but the images are still vivid in my mind. I had been dizzy for over 72 hours when I decided to go to the hospital. It was December, and the streets were festooned with Christmas…

  • acceptance,  advocacy,  awareness,  colorectal cancer,  Colorectal Surgery,  coping with flare,  Crohn's,  living with IBD,  Ostomy,  stigma,  Ulcerative Colitis

    All of these exceptional women have won awards this year for their public advocacy efforts

    Winner, winner! Inspirational role models we look up to. Ostomy awareness involves advocacy, and to be effective in advocating for change we need influencers. Advocacy can be standing up and speaking out for a cause, voicing concerns about misconceptions, or connecting with individuals and organizations who need support. All of these exceptional women have won awards this year for their public advocacy efforts. Amber Wallace won a WEGO Health Award. View image on Twitter WEGO Health@wegohealth Congratulations to 2018 #WEGOHealthAwards Best Kept Secret winner Amber Wallace! @ostomydiaries Check out all the finalist & winner videos from this year’s celebration here: https://wegoh.co/2OWMWdb  4:50 PM – Oct 8, 2018 4 See WEGO Health’s other…