Thursday, October 20, 2016


Excellence in Patient Care for Crohn's and Colitis

Crohn's and Colitis Canada in partnership with McMaster Universityinvites you to attend our free Fall 2016 Gutsy Learning Series! This education event is an innovative approach to learn about the latest in Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, offering you the opportunity to participate in-person or online via live webcast. 

Learn more about the latest in Crohn's and colitis, including research, therapeutic options, and the caregiver journey experience. This is a FREE education event featuring an interactive Q&A period! Have your questions answered by a panel of leading Crohn's and colitis renowned medical experts!

Join us in-person at McMaster University or online from anywhere in Canada!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016
6:30pm - 8:30pm EDT

McMaster University
Michael G. DeGroote Centre for Learning and Discovery
Hamilton, Ontario

When registering, please click the "In-Person" or 
"Online Webcast" option

Refreshments and light snacks will be provided at the venue

Space is limited - reserve your spot today!

For full event details including agenda and speakers, please visit 

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Crohn's and Colitis Canada | Toll Free: 1.800.387.1479 | Fax: 416.929.0364 |
Talk About Guts! is distributed six times a year to all supporters of Crohn's and Colitis Canada. 
To get in touch with us. you can email us at Feedback.

Tuesday, October 11, 2016 Being forced to change our medications, click into action page to stop this!

It's World Smile Day! And just like smiles shouldn't be forced, people with #IBD shouldn't be forced to switch from a medication that's working for them. Take action with us and support choice in treatment:

Coping Emotionally with Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis


The Mind-Body Connection

Coping with the physical symptoms of a chronic disease such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can be very challenging, but what about its effects on your emotions? Conversely, can your state of mind affect your physical symptoms?

Dr. Charles Bernstein, a well-known Canadian researcher, tells us that in a Crohn’s and Colitis Canada-funded study comparing people who experienced a colitis flare-up to those who did not, there were no differences between the groups in areas such as the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics or the presence of infections. What was different was the perception of stress experienced by the study subjects. Notably, it was not the presence or absence of stress that was found to be significant; it was the degree to which an individual perceived their stress that was important. While other research has proven that stress does notcause Crohn’s or colitis, we now know that its perception and a flare-up of Crohn’s or colitis symptoms are intertwined.

On the flip side of the coin, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada-funded research is also discovering that these diseases impact people psychologically even when the disease is not active. In fact, people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis have a higher risk of developing psychological problems, such as depression, than the general population.

Another research project has discovered that depression aggravates the body’s reaction to inflammation and may increase the symptoms of Crohn’s or colitis. To study these phenomena, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada is funding an investigation that will examine the link between depression and changes in the bacterial composition of the gut. This important research will determine what, if any, the physiological responses to a person’s emotional state are.

Here we have the classic “chicken and the egg” dilemma – Crohn’s and colitis can cause depression and exert stress on those who suffer from the disease; conversely the perception of stress and the shadow of depression can increase symptoms and even bring on a flare-up. At this time, science does not know which comes first – but we do know that the mind and the body work together to jointly affect a person’s health. 

Coping Tips

The mind-body connection is a powerful one. What can you do to shape it in a direction that is most beneficial to you and your health? Here are some general tips that have helped others with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis feel stronger, both emotionally and physically:
  • Exercise, sports and activities - When you are not in a flare-up, get involved in an activity that keeps you moving. Just being engaged in something that is physical enhances your feelings of strength and restrains the attitude that you are a person who is “sick.” When you are having a flare-up, try to keep moving with gentle activities such as tai chi, walking or yoga. Think “I can” rather than “I cannot”
  • “DON'T SWEAT THE SMALL STUFF – and it’s all small stuff” – said Dr. Richard Carlson in his internationally best-selling book. Putting life’s issues into perspective and not letting them get to you are incredibly helpful in reducing stress and relieving tension.
  • Ask your doctor for a referral to a stress-management professional. You can learn techniques that will help you cope with stress in a useful and empowering way. Remember, it is not the stress in your life that is the issue – it is your perception of it that is the key.
  • Learn to say “NO.” Don’t over-commit and over-schedule yourself to the point where you are frustrated and exhausted. You can’t maintain a healthy spirit when you are drained and at the end of your rope.
Finally, find a community of people who understand what you are going through and share your concerns. Don’t let these diseases isolate you from other people – loneliness can be a terrible side-effect of a chronic disease but it doesn’t have to be. Sign up to be connected on-line with a peer mentor. Click here to find out more about our one-on-one peer mentoring program Gutsy Peer Support. Or to connect with others face to face, there are Crohn’s and Colitis Canada Chapters across the country that offer fellowship and an opportunity to take action - find one near you if possible, or start one and help yourself and others. Click here to find out more about Crohn's and Colitis Canada in your community.

From Crohn's and Colitis Canada

Thursday, October 6, 2016


Researchers have found that protein kinase C (PKC) λ/ι is an important player for maintaining intestinal epithelium balance and preventing intestinal inflammation. Patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease showed reduced levels of PKC λ/ι. These findings highlight a possible valid therapeutic strategy for IBD and intestinal cancer.
The study, “Control of Paneth Cell Fate, Intestinal Inflammation, and Tumorigenesis by PKCλ/ι,” was published in the journal Cell Reports.
The intestinal epithelium is composed of different types of cells, and through an orchestrated balance of interactions among these different cell types, the commensal population of microbes (called microbiota), and the immune system are key for maintaining intestinal homeostasis.
Paneth cells are a highly specialized population of intestinal epithelial cells and they are important for protecting the intestinal epithelium from intestinal pathogens, since Paneth cells store and release antimicrobial peptides. Their protective activity is also important for controlling intestinal inflammation.
In fact, alterations in Paneth cells were shown to contribute to conditions like IBDs, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Understating how the differentiation and function of Paneth cells is regulated is important to develop new therapies for these diseases.
A team of researchers at Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute in California investigated PKC λ/ι because the function of this protein, while linked to several oncogenic and inflammatory pathwaysin vitro, is still largely unknown when it comes to intestinal homeostasis and pathology.
Researchers discovered that PKC λ/ι is widely expressed in the entire intestinal epithelium, and in particular in Paneth cells. They found that PKC λ/ι is required for Paneth cell differentiation and survival. Conditions where PKCλ/ι deficiency impairs Paneth cell differentiation leads to an inflammatory response. Ultimately, this is amplified by an increase in cell death in the whole intestinal epithelium, including both the small intestine and colon.
Crohn’s disease patients showed reduced PKCλ/ι levels, which correlated with impaired Paneth cell development, intestinal epithelial death, and intestinal inflammation, according to researchers.
These results show that PKCλ/ι expression is vital for controlling and inhibiting intestinal inflammation and cancer by promoting a stable number of Paneth cells

By Patricia Inacio, PhD
September 28, 2016

Monday, October 3, 2016


IBD News Today, September 13, 2016 By Carolina Henriques, In News
Takeda Pharmaceuticals U.S.A. has announced the launch of a pilot digital technology program that consists of a watch specially designed to help patients and physicians manage inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC).
The digital technology program, iBData, is designed to cross healthcare and digital technologies. Digital approaches are being used in new platforms across many sectors of healthcare to advance such steps as diagnostics, disease progression, and treatment response.
“iBData leverages the remarkable capabilities available today when wearable technologies and medicine converge, in an effort to help overcome these challenges,” Stephanie Brown, vice president and head of Specialty Business Unit at Takeda, said in a press release. “This innovative pilot program will explore new ways to transform care by generating novel insights into the patient experience that physicians can directly utilize.”
In partnership with Texas Digestive disease Consultants (TDDC) andVanderbilt University Medical Center (VUMC), the pilot program will allow IBD patients to track their symptoms and lifestyle using wearable watch technology.
The technology will allow physicians and patients to have an ongoing dialogue between visits — physicians will be able to analyze symptoms, triggers and aggravating factors to improve patient outcomes. In other words, iBData aims to improve communication in the exam room and between visits, fostering a more productive and continuous dialogue, and improving the understanding of each patient’s condition.
“The wearable aspect of the technology being used for iBData provides an opportunity to investigate how we as physicians monitor, assess and treat our patients,” said Tim Ritter, MD, TDDC’s medical director of luminal research.
UC and Crohn’s disease are marked by inflammation in the lining of the gastrointestinal tract. With no known cause, many researchers believe that the interaction between genes, the body’s immune system, and environmental factors  play a role in the development of both conditions.
The pilot program will initially involve up to 100 patients to test adherence and user-friendliness.
“We are very excited about this project and its potential for both patients and physicians,” said Dawn M. Beaulieu, MD, assistant professor of medicine at the division of Gastroenterology, Hepatology & Nutrition at VUMC. “Giving patients the power to capture robust, real-time monitoring of their symptoms will help us as physicians to create a personalized treatment plan. Our hope is that this will ultimately result in better disease control and improved IBD care.”

Wednesday, September 28, 2016

Fungus in humans identified for the first time as key factor in Crohn's disease

Resource: Case Western Reserve University
Date: September 20, 2016

A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine-led team of international researchers has for the first time identified a fungus as a key factor in the development of Crohn's disease. The researchers also linked a new bacterium to the previous bacteria associated with Crohn's. The groundbreaking findings, published on September 20th in mBio, could lead to potential new treatments and ultimately, cures for the debilitating inflammatory bowel disease, which causes severe abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and fatigue.
"We already know that bacteria, in addition to genetic and dietary factors, play a major role in causing Crohn's disease," said the study's senior and corresponding author, Mahmoud A Ghannoum, PhD, professor and director of the Center for Medical Mycology at Case Western Reserve and University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center "Essentially, patients with Crohn's have abnormal immune responses to these bacteria, which inhabit the intestines of all people. While most researchers focus their investigations on these bacteria, few have examined the role of fungi, which are also present in everyone's intestines. Our study adds significant new information to understanding why some people develop Crohn's disease. Equally important, it can result in a new generation of treatments, including medications and probiotics, which hold the potential for making qualitative and quantitative differences in the lives of people suffering from Crohn's."
Both bacteria and fungi are microorganisms -- infinitesimal forms of life that can only be seen with a microscope. Fungi are eukaryotes: organism whose cells contain a nucleus; they are closer to humans than bacteria, which are prokaryotes: single-celled forms of life with no nucleus. Collectively, the fungal community that inhabits the human body is known as the mycobiome, while the bacteria are called the bacteriome. (Fungi and bacteria are present throughout the body; previously Ghannoum had found that people harbor between nine and 23 fungal species in their mouths.)
The researchers assessed the mycobiome and bacteriome of patients with Crohn's disease and their Crohn's-free first degree relatives in nine families in northern France and Belgium, and in Crohn's-free individuals from four families living in the same geographic area. Specifically, they analyzed fecal samples of 20 Crohn's and 28 Crohn's-free patients from nine families and of 21 Crohn's-free patients of four families. The researchers found strong fungal-bacterial interactions in those with Crohn's disease: two bacteria (Escherichia coli and Serratia marcescens) and one fungus (Candida tropicalis) moved in lock step. The presence of all three in the sick family members was significantly higher compared to their healthy relatives, suggesting that the bacteria and fungus interact in the intestines. Additionally, test-tube research by the Ghannoum-led team found that the three work together (with the E. coli cells fusing to the fungal cells and S. marcescens forming a bridge connecting the microbes) to produce a biofilm -- a thin, slimy layer of microorganisms found in the body that adheres to, among other sites, a portion of the intestines -- which can prompt inflammation that results in the symptoms of Crohn's disease.
This is first time any fungus has been linked to Crohn's in humans; previously it was only found in mice with the disease. The study is also the first to include S. marcescens in the Crohn's-linked bacteriome. Additionally, the researchers found that the presence of beneficial bacteria was significantly lower in the Crohn's patients, corroborating previous research findings.
"Among hundreds of bacterial and fungal species inhabiting the intestines, it is telling that the three we identified were so highly correlated in Crohn's patients," said Ghannoum. "Furthermore, we found strong similarities in what may be called the 'gut profiles' of the Crohn's-affected families, which were strikingly different from the Crohn's-free families. We have to be careful, though, and not solely attribute Crohn's disease to the bacterial and fungal makeups of our intestines. For example, we know that family members also share diet and environment to significant degrees. Further research is needed to be even more specific in identifying precipitators and contributors of Crohn's."

Friday, August 26, 2016




Inflammatory Bowel Disease Affects Brain Function

Crohn’s Disease Symptoms Update: Inflammatory Bowel Disease Affects Brain Function

I am pleased to see this article from Medical Daily /Crohns and Colitis Canada.  I have experienced changes in my memory, quick learning abilities.  And have had that also noted from my previous employer.  I have always just thought, the early forgetful, dementia symptoms were starting now.  So it really does not look to good, as I also and probably will be faced with dementia.  So yeah, it ain't going to be fun unless they discover a cure.  There are a lot of people out there with Crohns and Colitis and the numbers continue to climb due to our food.

Click on article below for more information from Medical Daily, Written by Suman Varandani

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

The Gut Balance Revolution

From the Desk Dr. Andrew Weil, MD

Weight Loss advice from Dr. Gerard E Mullin, MD

Click on Link below for more information

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

3 Popular Diets for the IBS, IBD, Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis communities are trying

Everyone should be catching on, food will be our Medicine.  The following is from Trusted Therapies

There are 3 popular diets being followed by the IBS, IBD, Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis community.

The Specific Carbohydrate Diet (SCD) ; The Low Fodmap Diet;  The Paleo Diet

I am trying the Low Fodmap Diet.  I find the bloating is not there for me.

Read more from Trusted Therapies:

Thursday, May 28, 2015


I was given this list from a fellow sufferer, Colitis, and I am finding my stomach does NOT swell to a "nine month pregnant size" belly with no baby.  It does work and plan to continue to follow it.  Diana

Low FODMAP food (good to eat food)

If quantities are given these are the highest amount allowed
Vegetables and Legumes
  • Alfalfa
  • Bamboo shoots
  • Bean sprouts
  • Bok choy / pak choi
  • Broccoli – avoid large servings
  • Brussel sprouts – 1 serving of 2 sprouts
  • Butternut squash – 1/4 cup
  • Cabbage – 1 serving of 1 cup
  • Carrots
  • Celery – less than 5cm of stalk
  • Collard greens
  • Corn / sweet corn- if tolerable and only in small amounts – 1/2 cob
  • Courgette
  • Chick peas – 1/4 cup
  • Chilli – if tolerable
  • Chives
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant / aubergine
  • Fennel
  • Green beans
  • Green pepper (green bell pepper)
  • Ginger
  • Kale
  • Leek leaves
  • Lentils – in small amounts
  • Lettuce
  • Marrow
  • Okra
  • Olives
  • Parsnip
  • Radish
  • Red peppers (red bell pepper)
  • Potato
  • Pumpkin
  • Pumpkin, canned – 1/4 cup, 2.2 oz
  • Scallions / spring onions (green part)
  • Silverbeet / chard
  • Spaghetti squash
  • Spinach, baby
  • Squash
  • Swede
  • Sweet potato – 1/2 cup
  • Tomato – avoid cherry tomato
  • Turnip
  • Yam
  • Zucchini

  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Boysenberry
  • Cantaloupe
  • Cranberry
  • Clementine
  • Dragonfruit
  • Grapes
  • Honeydew and Galia melons
  • Kiwifruit
  • Lemon including lemon juice
  • Lime
  • Mandarin
  • Orange
  • Passion fruit
  • Paw paw
  • Papaya
  • Pineapple
  • Raspberry
  • Rhubarb
  • Strawberry
  • Tangelo

Meats, Poultry and Meat Substitutes
  • Chicken
  • Beef
  • Lamb
  • Pork
  • Prosciutto
  • Quorn, mince
  • Turkey
  • Cold cuts / deli meat / cold meats such as ham and turkey breast

Fish and Seafood
  • Canned tuna
  • Fresh fish e.g.
    • Salmon
    • Cod
    • Haddock
    • Plaice
    • Trout
  • Seafood (ensuring nothing else is added) e.g.
    • Crab
    • Lobster
    • Shrimp
    • Mussels
    • Oysters

Cereals, Grains, Breads, Biscuits, Pasta, Nuts and Cakes
  • Wheat free or gluten free breads
  • Bread made from oats, rice, corn, and potato flours
  • Wheat free or gluten free pasta
  • Buckwheat noodles
  • Rice noodles
  • Porridge and oat based cereals
  • Cornflakes – 1/2 cup
  • Rice bran
  • Rice Krispies
  • Almonds – max of 15
  • Amaranth
  • Brazil nuts
  • Bulgur / bourghal – 1/4 cup cooked, 44g serving
  • Buckwheat
  • Buckwheat flour
  • Brown rice / whole grain rice
  • Cornflour / maize
  • Crispbread
  • Corncakes
  • Coconut – milk, cream, flesh
  • Corn tortillas, 3 tortillas
  • Hazelnuts – max of 15
  • Macadamia – max of 10
  • Millet
  • Oats
  • Oatcakes
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans – max of 15
  • Pine nuts – max of 15
  • Polenta
  • Popcorn
  • Potato chips, plain
  • Potato flour
  • Pumpkin seeds – max of 1 – 2 tbsp
  • Quinoa
  • Rice cakes
  • Rice crackers
  • Rice flour
  • Sesame seeds – max of 1 – 2 tbsp
  • Spelt
  • Sunflower seeds – max of 1 – 2 tbsp
  • Sorgum
  • Tortilla chips
  • Walnuts – max of 10
  • White rice

Condiments, Sweets, Sweeteners and Spreads
  • Aspartame
  • Acesulfame K
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Chocolate, dark
  • Chutney, 1 tablespoon
  • Fish sauce
  • Garlic infused oil
  • Golden syrup
  • Glucose
  • Jam / jelly, strawberry
  • Ketchup (USA) – 1 sachet
  • Maple syrup
  • Marmalade
  • Mayonnaise – ensuring no garlic or onion in ingredients
  • Mustard
  • Olive oil
  • Oyster sauce
  • Pesto sauce – less than 1 tbsp
  • Peanut butter
  • Saccharine
  • Soy sauce
  • Stevia
  • Sweet and sour sauce
  • Sucralose
  • Sugar – also called sucrose
  • Tomato sauce (outside USA) – 2 sachets, 13g
  • Vegemite
  • Vinegar, balsamic – less than 2 tbsp
  • Vinegar, rice wine
  • Worcestershire sauce

  • Alcohol – is an irritant to the gut, limited intake advised:
  • Beer – limited to one drink
  • Clear spirits such as Vodka
  • Gin
  • Whiskey
  • Wine – limited to one drink
  • Coffee, espresso, regular or decaffeinated, black
  • Coffee, espresso, regular or decaffeinated, with up to 250ml lactose free milk
  • Coffee, instant, regular or decaffeinated, black
  • Coffee, instant, regular or decaffeinated, with up to 250ml lactose free milk
  • Espresso, regular, black
  • Fruit juice, 125ml and safe fruits only
  • Lemonade – in low quantities
  • Soya milk made with soy protein
  • Sugar free fizzy drinks / soft drinks / soda – such as diet coke, in low quantities as aspartame and acesulfame k can be irritants
  • ‘Sugar’ fizzy drinks / soft drinks / soda that do no contain HFCS such as lemonade, cola. Limit intake due to these drinks being generally unhealthy and can cause gut irritation
  • Tea, black, weak e.g. PG Tips
  • Tea, chai, weak
  • Tea, fruit and herbal, weak – ensure no apple added
  • Tea, green
  • Tea, peppermint
  • Tea, white
  • Water

Dairy Foods and Eggs
  • Butter
  • Cheese, brie
  • Cheese, camembert
  • Cheese, cheddar
  • Cheese, cottage
  • Cheese, feta
  • Cheese, goat / chevre
  • Cheese, mozzarella
  • Cheese, ricotta – 2 tablespoons
  • Cheese, swiss
  • Dairy free chocolate pudding
  • Eggs
  • Gelato
  • Lactose free milk
  • Lactose free yoghurt
  • Margarine
  • Oat milk
  • Parmesan cheese
  • Rice milk
  • Sorbet
  • Soy protein (avoid soya beans)
  • Swiss cheese
  • Tempeh
  • Tofu
  • Whipped cream

Cooking ingredients, Herbs and Spices
  • Herbs: Basil, Cilantro, Coriander, Mint, Oregano, Parsley, Rosemary, Tarragon, Thyme
  • Spices: All spice, Cinnamon, Cumin, Five spice, Paprika, Turmeric
  • Baking powder
  • Baking soda
  • Cocoa powder
  • Cream, 1/2 cup
  • Gelatine
  • Ghee
  • Icing sugar
  • Lard
  • Salt
  • Vegetable oil

Friday, May 1, 2015

What you should know if you fall in love with someone who has Crohn's Disease

I found this article an inspiration for all who encounter people who suffer in silence.  So I thought I would share it with you.  I am not in a relationship, but I think that is because I am not happy with these 2 diseases, as they can be rather embarrasing.

By Kim Quindlen

Monday, April 6, 2015

Thankful for people like this, sharing their life about Crohns and/or Ulcerative Colitis

I was diagnosed in 2004 with Crohns and Ulcerative Colitis.  I have been on the same medication therapy since then.  Azathioprine, Asacol5 and Potassium.  I believe these chronic diseases work together somehow.  I go the washroom about 5 to 10 times a day but it is based on what I eat or drink.  If I just stick to water everything is better under control.  But who can avoid coffee, although I only have 1 coffee before I leave for work, also leave in 2 hours after having that coffee.  No accidents.

Yes my life is controlled.  Urgency is sometimes still there.  But I always give myself a two-hour window before leaving home.   Who would have thought the bathroom was pure gold!!

KUDOS to the many women and men who share their stories.  Without you we would not know what is like to have the ostomy or ileostomy bags.  THANKS again for sharing your stories.