Glossary

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From time to time I may throw around some terms you have not heard of before. Some have been made up and adopted by the IBD/Chronic Illness community. Others are legit medical terms that I have learned over the years of being a patient.

Crohn’s Disease: An auto-immune disease that affects the entire GI tract. It’s a chronic illness with no known cure at this time.

Ulcerative Colitis: An auto-immune disease that affects the lining of the colon. Ulcerative Colitis is a “sister” disease of Crohn’s Disease.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): Ongoing chronic inflammation of the GI tract. There are two types of IBD; Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Crohnie: How I refer to my fellow IBD peeps.

Colostomy: a surgical operation in which a piece of the colon is diverted to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall so as to bypass a damaged part of the colon.

Illeostomy: a surgical operation in which a piece of the ileum is diverted to an artificial opening in the abdominal wall.

Ostomy: The term ostomy encompasses colostomies, illeostomies and urostomies.

Stoma: An opening on the surface of the abdomen which has been surgically created to divert the flow of feces or urine. Some of us name our stomas, mine is called Arthur. My first stoma was Charley.

Ostomate: This is how some of us refer to those with ostomies.

Fistula: an abnormal passage or tunnel that forms between two organs, or between an organ and the skin surface. Typically fixed with surgery. Disgusting and awful.

 CCFA: The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America, a non-profit organization that helps with research, education and patient support for IBD.
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