Nadine King

Nadine King

Crohn’s in the spotlight this week

Crohn’s causes inflammation and ulcers on any area of the gastrointestinal tract, from mouth to anus, but is usually located in the lower part of the small bowel and the upper end of the colon. Symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weight loss and lack of energy. Colitis generally brings about similar symptoms as Crohn’s, but typically only affects only the colon. One of the hallmark’s of Crohn’s disease are false urges to use the washroom.

By the time Nadine King was finally diagnosed with Crohn’s disease, she was averaging 30 trips to the bathroom daily.

It’s not information many sufferers of inflammatory bowel disease are ready to share, but for the president of the local chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, openness and education is key.

“A lot of people are concerned about telling their bosses because they’ll be looked at as someone who’d sickly and less reliable,” she said. “A lot of people never even tell their friends because they’re so ashamed of it, but I’ve never thought of it that way.”

Crohn’s causes inflammation and ulcers on any area of the gastrointestinal tract, from mouth to anus, but is usually located in the lower part of the small bowel and the upper end of the colon. Symptoms include abdominal pain, cramping, diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, weight loss and lack of energy. Colitis generally brings about similar symptoms as Crohn’s, but typically only affects only the colon. One of the hallmark’s of Crohn’s disease are false urges to use the washroom.

Like others with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis – both called inflammatory bowel disease, the latter of which King was initially misdiagnosed with – she experienced symptoms of gastrointestinal upset for years. The flare culminated in months of bloody stool and false urges prior to a diagnoses. It left her sleep-deprived and completely depleted of iron stores, yet she continued to work full-time as a transportation engineer.

“I just willed through it and carried on,” King said.

Through her doctor, she got in touch with the Victoria chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada and later became president of the non-profit organization. The group hosts several events throughout the year in Greater Victoria with the goal of raising awareness, sharing information and raising funding for medical research. Their biggest fundraising event is this weekend’s Fun Day in the Park, which last year raised more than $8,700 towards the national foundation. This year’s goal is $10,000.

After running the gamut of medications – including anti-inflammatory, immune suppressants and steroid medications – King is managing her symptoms through the intravenously-administered biological drug, Humira, but it’s not a cure.

“There’s always the unknown of when it’s going to come back – because it is going to come back – whether it’s in months or years.”

Crohn’s affects more women than men and is most common in North America and Europe. The disease tends to affect younger people, with most of the diagnoses given between the age of 15 and 30 years-old (King was 26).

nnorth@saanichnews.com

 

Fun Day in the Park

What: A free concert (with Anjopa, the Paul Wainwright Band and The Archers); games; silent auction; massage therapy; reflexology; face-painting; and a bouncy castle – all to benefit The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada’s research and education.

When: 11-4:30 p.m. July 23

Where: Gyro Park, Cadboro Bay

 

Closer to a cure

The Department of Paediatric Surgery at Christchurch Hospital in New Zealand reported last week that it has successfully grown contracting smooth muscle bowel cells.

The July 15 announcement is being lauded as a possible cure for people with Crohn’s as well as those born with intestinal abnormalities.

Spencer Beasley, head of the paediatric surgery unit, said the discovery could eventually provide an alternative to small bowel transplantation and avoid all the issues of inadequate availability of donors, as well as all the problems around rejection and immunosuppression.

 

 

Just Posted

Steve Mann and Tim Hackett consider Marigold Lands their finest development. (Rendering courtesy Marigold Lands)
Marigold residences grow more townhouses and condos in Central Saanich

50 condos, 14 townhouses up next for project adjacent to Pat Bay Highway

Norman Mogensen sets up strings for his beans in his plot in the Oak Bay community gardens. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Oak Bay gardener spends decades cultivating, improving daddy’s beans

85-year-old vegan part of the community gardens scene

The Pool at the Esquimalt Rec Centre. (Courtesy of theTownship of Esquimalt/ Facebook)
Esquimalt Rec Centre restarting everyone welcome swim times later this month

The 90-minute sessions will be on select evenings and weekends

Theatre SKAM is offering mobile, pop-up performances to Greater Victoria residents once again this summer. They’ll feature emerging artists Yasmin D’Oshun, Courtney Crawford, Kaelan Bain and Kendra Bidwell (left to right). (Courtesy of Theatre SKAM)
Theatre performances can be ordered to Greater Victoria front yards this summer

Theatre SKAM offering mobile, pop-up performances once again

Diana Durrand and Arlene Nesbitt celebrate the new artist space in 2014. Gage Gallery moves this summer from Oak Bay to Bastion Square in Victoria. (Black Press Media file photo)
Gage Gallery moving to Bastion Square

Vivid Connections, a showcase by Laura Feeleus and Elizabeth Carefoot, opens new venue June 29

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Patrick O’Brien, a 75-year-old fisherman, went missing near Port Angeles Thursday evening. (Courtesy of U.S. Coast Guard)
Search for lost fisherman near Victoria suspended, U.S. Coast Guard says

The 75-year-old man was reported missing Thursday evening

Most Read