(BPT) – For world-renowned soccer player Brandi Chastain, having a game plan in place to achieve goals was second nature. Chastain is a former member of the United States women’s national soccer team and a retired professional soccer player who was recently elected to the U.S. Soccer Hall of Fame. When Chastain's now 10-year-old son was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, a type of inflammatory bowel disease, she had to tackle a different type of plan. Chastain has partnered with AbbVie on My IBD Game Plan, a program designed to help people living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, the two most common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), create a plan to help manage everyday life with these diseases.
The program encourages people living with IBD, and their caregivers, to proactively work with their doctors and support team to take control and manage the symptoms of these diseases. Program resources can be found at CrohnsandColitis.com.
"Being on a team is something that has always been very important to me, and when my son was diagnosed with Crohn's disease, I found myself on a new team," said Chastain. “There are 1.6 million Americans who live with IBD daily, and CrohnsandColitis.com is a great resource for them to be able to find information, to ask questions and to talk to their doctor about an appropriate treatment plan.”
As many as 70,000 new cases of IBD are diagnosed in the U.S. each year. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis can be serious diseases that can get worse over time, with symptoms that may change in severity or change over the course of one's life and it is important to talk to a doctor about any change in symptoms and appropriate treatment options.
People living with IBD usually go through periods of remission, meaning few or no symptoms, alternating with periods of more active disease symptoms. Common symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis include diarrhea, abdominal pain or cramping and rectal bleeding. There is no cure for Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, but there are treatments available that directly address the causes of the symptoms and can help achieve and maintain remission.
"The symptoms of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis can not only pose physical challenges but also emotional and social ones that can really interfere with everyday life," said Eva Szigethy, Ph.D., M.D., M.S., an associate professor of Psychiatry, Medicine and Pediatrics at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine. "There are tips on CrohnsandColitis.com, such as how to build confidence, manage social situations, tackle stress and find motivation, that individuals and their loved ones can put in place. Along with an individualized treatment plan, these tips and tools may help them gain control and better manage the challenges of IBD."
In addition to information on how to build their own IBD Game Plan with their healthcare provider, CrohnsandColitis.com also features tools and information to help manage the physical, emotional and social challenges of IBD. It also features a Restroom Request Card that people living with IBD can use to discreetly request access to restricted restrooms when unexpected symptoms arise.
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