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Understanding Crohn Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Understanding Crohn Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

By Jon Zonderman & Ronald S. Vender
Series: Understanding Health and Sickness Series

Paperback : 9781578062034, 116 pages, May 2000

For patients and caregivers an overview of the nature and treatments of inflammatory bowel disease


Written from a patient's perspective, this book provides timely information about how to obtain and maintain the highest quality of life possible while living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis—together known as inflammatory bowel disease—are chronic illnesses of unknown origin. The inflammation within the intestinal tract (within the colon in ulcerative colitis, and anywhere from the mouth to the anus in Crohn disease) leads to some or all of the following clinical symptoms—diarrhea (with or without blood), abdominal pain, fever, and fatigue.

The disease is characterized by periods of flare-up and remission. Some individuals, especially those who have ulcerative colitis, may have one acute episode in their lifetime. But most IBD sufferers have recurrent periods of illness. Even in the absence of clinical symptoms, there is usually radiological and laboratory evidence of the disease.

Current medical treatments reduce symptoms, but do not cure either disease. Because of the unpredictable nature of the disease process, quality of life is severely impaired, especially for the sickest individuals.

Besides providing basic information, this book describes various medical, surgical, nutritional, and even spiritual treatments. Its aim is to help those who are afflicted with IBD, as well as their families, to improve and maintain the highest possible quality of life.


"Crohn patient Zonderman and Vender, his gastroenterologist, base their presentation of the medical and psychological aspects of two inflammatory bowel diseases on solid medical evidence. Early diagnosis and treatment are vital to successfully managing both diseases, so Zonderman and Vender discuss the many conditions that can mimic those two and show how the differential diagnosis process works. A second opinion is no insult to the diagnosing physician, they stress, and often helps. After describing how the digestive system functions, they show how it can go wrong. They deal with related medical conditions and how Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis can affect persons of different ages differently. Treatment can involve careful dieting (beware of “miracle” diets, though) and medical and surgical procedures. Awareness of the mind-body connection and of alternative medicine also may prove helpful. The book concludes with accounts of current clinical and laboratory research. "

- Booklist