A new paper has outlined key information for patients living with chronic digestive conditions, such as IBD, in relation to COVID-19, or coronavirus.
A paper published today in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology by clinicians at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai outlines key information that gastroenterologists and patients with chronic digestive conditions, such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), need to know about COVID-19, or coronavirus.
Coronavirus is of particular concern for patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) who may take immunosuppression drugs. The paper, published in a journal of the American Gastroenterological Association, has provided clear guidance.
Information for patients with IBD
The paper states: ‘Patients on immunosuppression drugs for IBD should continue taking their medications. The risk of disease flare far outweighs the chance of contracting coronavirus. These patients should also follow CDC guidelines for at-risk groups: avoid crowds and limit travel.’
Ryan Ungaro, MD, MS, assistant professor of medicine at Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai, said: “This is a rapidly evolving area with new information emerging on a daily basis.
“While COVID-19 is a significant global public health concern, it is important to keep its risks in perspective and stay up-to-date on current research and recommendations in order to provide our patients with the most accurate advice.”
How do I know if my symptoms are real?
Jane Ogden, Professor in Health Psychology at the University of Surrey, said: “Much as the serious symptoms of COVID-19 are clearly undisputable, those experienced in the early days following exposure to the virus are all too familiar and open to all the biases of symptom perception that influenced our daily lives way before this recent pandemic hit us. This process of symptom perception isn’t always helped by the constant bombardment by the media which can lead to health anxiety and hypervigilance which in turn make any symptom worse.
“Every year I carry out a study with my students to illustrate how symptoms are perceptions not sensations. They all take part in a leg raising task when they sit down with their backs against the chair and lift a leg up horizontally for one minute whilst either relaxing, describing how it feels, chatting about their weekend or doing nothing. They then rate how much it hurts and every year it works a dream – pain is significantly greater when they focus on their leg than when they are distracted.
“Symptoms are clearly modified by mood (anxiety makes them worse) and cognition (being distracted make them better). And in today’s world of coronavirus who can’t help but watch their body for changes, worry about their tickly throat and check their forehead for any hint of a fever. All of which will also make these symptoms feel worse than they are. But symptoms are also contagious in more ways than just through the virus.
“In 1982 David Mechanic described a syndrome called medical student’s disease which illustrated how medical students often ‘caught’ the disease they were studying in class. So, they experienced chest pain when studying cardiology or breathlessness when in respiratory classes. A few years ago, I also carried out a study on the social contagion of symptoms and found that when watching films of head lice or people jumping into icy water, participants either itched or shivered.
“We live in strange times when we need to know whether we are ill or not to protect those who are more vulnerable. But this process is not without its problems and whilst telling people to be vigilant of their symptoms may well help identify real symptoms of COVID-19 it may also exacerbate a whole load of more minor symptoms which would have been better ignored. This may lead to unnecessary self-isolation and pressure on workplaces such as schools when people stay at home.”
Having been under virtual house arrest for some time, it’s easy to get carried away with the excitement of a short break, post Covid-19. You’re taking in new sights, sounds, smells and tastes. It’s an adventure for the soul. But rich foods and drinks, lack of exercise and the stress of travel, particularly with young children, can take a toll on your health. To avoid paying for it later on, take a few steps to remain healthy.
REMEMBER TO GET ENOUGH SLEEP
A holiday after such a stressful period for everyone might be much welcomed, but don’t neglect your sleep patterns. Aim for six to nine hours a night and take a short nap in the afternoon if you need it.
WASH YOUR HANDS OFTEN
Stop germs in their tracks. Remember: wet, lather, scrub, rinse, and dry. This isn’t just good advice in a pandemic, it’s important every single day of your life. Practice it frequently throughout the day to prevent spread of diarrhea and respiratory disease, too. PACK SMART While it’s great to finally be free to enjoy a break, beware of the holiday cheer. Many hotels offer complimentary drinks, snacks or cakes. The result can be hard on your system. Pack Udo’s Choice Ultimate Digestive Enzyme Blend, to aid your digestion. A unique blend of seven plant-based digestive enzymes assist in the breakdown of proteins, fats, carbohydrates and fibre. Udo’s Choice Super 8 Microbiotic is a hi-count microbiotic blend that contains eight strains of lacto and bifido bacteria. Each daily capsule contains 42 billion ‘friendly’ bacteria. Both products can be found in your local health food store or pharmacy.
ALWAYS KEEP HYDRATED
Drink lots of water. Spending hours travelling can dehydrate you. Carry a large bottle of water to have throughout your journey, and pack Manuka Lozenges with vitamin C for an added immune boost and try to choose caffeine free drinks throughout the day.
If you’re staying by the sea, eat lots of fresh grilled fish. Oily fish –including sardines, fresh tuna, salmon and mackerel – is particularly good as it’s rich in Omega 3, which keeps your skin hydrated and encourages healthy digestion as well as weight loss. Try to eat a variety of different coloured fruits and vegetables – oranges, red peppers, green courgettes, yellow sweet corn – to get a wide range of antioxidants.
PROTECT FROM THE SUN
Lying in the sunshine feels great but you only need 10 minutes of unprotected sun to get your daily dose of vitamin D. After that you should use sunblock. As we get older, the collagen in our skin breaks down more rapidly, leading to lines, wrinkles and discolouring. To prevent the breaking down of collagen, eat lots of purple fruits, such as fresh blackberries, blueberries and black grapes.
Experts support COVID vaccines for Inflammatory Bowel Disease patients
British Society of Gastroenterology Inflammatory Bowel Disease Section and IBD Clinical Research Group release statement supporting COVID-19 vaccines.
You will be able to have the coronavirus vaccine if you are immunosuppressed; you need the coronavirus vaccine if you are immunosuppressed; and you will be prioritised because you are immunosuppressed.Dr Nick PowellClinical Reader and Consultant in Gastroenterology
The statement, co-written by the Department of Metabolism, Digestion and Reproduction’s Dr Nick Powell, Dr James Alexander and external colleagues, strongly supports SARS-CoV2 vaccinations for patients with IBD, while underscoring the risks of taking the vaccination in IBD patients are anticipated to be very low.
Patients with IBD may have increased susceptibility to infectious diseases. The main concerns around IBD patients taking the vaccine are related to the theoretical risk of sub-optimal vaccine responses rather than vaccine side effects. Even if vaccine effectiveness was reduced it would still likely offer some protection from the virus. The one thing for certain is that if you don’t have the vaccine you will remain at high risk of getting the virus
Dr Powell has spoken about potential side effects, stating: “The risks of vaccination are very low, and are mostly confined to short-lived, mild side effects, like headache or fatigue. On the other hand, the risks of COVID-19 infection are sadly all too familiar. More than 1 in 1000 people in the UK have already lost their lives to this deadly virus. Vaccination is the best way of protecting IBD patients from COVID-19 and will be the most important route for us to get back on track with our lives”.
The team has been working on a number of projects and events around public and patient engagement with the vaccines. At the end of last year, Dr Powell was one of a number of experts on a panel discussing covid vaccines for people with Crohn’s or Colitis. The panel answered patient questions and alleviated potential fears they may have about being vaccinated. Catch up on the event here.
With the Pfizer/BioNTech and the Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccines already receiving MHRA approval, and the Moderna vaccine approval expected shortly, it is recommended that IBD patients accept whichever approved SARS-CoV2 vaccination is offered to them.
Speaking about the vaccines, Dr Powell said: “Vaccination against SARS-CoV2 holds the key to beating this deadly disease. It is especially important in vulnerable patient groups. We have engaged extensively with our patients and have found that there are significant concerns and worries about the vaccines. The IBD experts of the British Society of Gastroenterology unanimously agree that vaccination is by far the best option for IBD patients, and indeed other patient groups needing to take immunosuppressive drugs.”
Hand Sanitiser Handrub Formulation -100ml
> MSDS / REACH compliant – see safety data sheet on request
> EU Manufactured
IF IN EYES: Rinse cautiously with water for several minutes. Remove contact lenses, if present and easy to do. Continue rinsing. If eye irritation persists, seek medical advice/attention. If medical advice is needed, ensure product container or label is at hand.
Ingredients: 80% alcohol, Glycerine, Hydrogen Peroxide
Danger: Highly Flammable liquid and vapour. Causes serious eye irritation. Keep out of reach of children. Keep away from heat, hot surfaces, sparks, open flames and other ignition sources. No smoking
Diet and Lifestyle1 year ago
Manuka honey and Crohn’s disease
Research12 months ago
Is apple cider vinegar good or bad for diarrhea?
Diet and Lifestyle12 months ago
Can Apple Cider Vinegar Help Treat Crohn’s?
Diet and Lifestyle2 years ago
Supplements for Crohn’s Disease
Diet and Lifestyle2 years ago
How to treat Crohn’s Disease – A Holistic Lifestyle Approach
Pain Relief2 years ago
Pain Relief for Crohn’s Disease
Research11 months ago
Can Zinc Lozenges Ward Off Coronavirus? What Doctors Say
About Crohn's Disease2 years ago
What is Enteritis?