The Impact of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Health Talks

By Tasneem Ahmed, DO 

During the first month of my intern year in residency, I met a young female college student who had to leave school due to her ongoing battle with ulcerative colitis. She was hospitalized for two weeks to control her symptoms and required aggressive immunosuppressive therapy. I witnessed, firsthand, how diseases like ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s can affect someone’s physical wellbeing but can also change people’s lives—especially the lives of young women! I became interested in these diseases as a result.
Over the years, thankfully, there has been increasing awareness of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, as well as its impact on women. This has been in part due to the growing number of female gastroenterologists and surgeons, but also because there has more research geared toward women’s health and gastrointestinal issues in general.
What interests me and drives me to specialize in Inflammatory Bowel Disease is the potential to get these chronic, potentially debilitating diseases under control with the right medical therapy and direction. It always amazes me to see the difference early recognition of these diseases and proper guidance and education can make in giving our patients a “normal, healthy” life.

Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis can be diagnosed at any age and, thus, affect many people in many different ways. It is important to tailor individual therapy for each patient and most importantly provide hope that these diseases are treatable!