Just in time for Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week (Dec. 1-7, 2016), Tucson News Now anchor Craig Thomas did a feature item Dec. 6 on his personal battle with Crohn’s disease.
In it, he interviews Sasha Taleban, MD, UA assistant professor, director of the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Program in the Division of Gastroenterology and a physician in the Endoscopy Lab at Banner – University Medical Center Tucson.
The broadcast aired at 9 p.m. on FOX 11 and 10 p.m. on KOLD 13. Click here or on the image at left to view the video and an article.
Thomas said the two diseases—Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis—affect some 1.7 million Americans. Known collectively as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), he points out the embarrassing affliction involves a chronic inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract that causes pain and makes it difficult for people to control their bowels. Among notables with it are former NFL quarterback David Garrard of the Jacksonville Jaguars, President John F. Kennedy, Judging Amy and Private Practice actress Amy Brenneman, American Idol Season 10’s bearded jazz artist Casey Abrams and former White House press secretary Tony Snow, according to Health.com.
He and Dr. Taleban had met earlier this fall at the Take Steps for Crohn’s & Colitis Walk at Brandi Fenton Memorial Park on Oct. 22 which drew more than 150 walkers and raised over $22,000.
In the interview, Dr. Taleban told Thomas, "I think that because of the stigma that's associated with this disease often patients are less willing to let their friends and family know that they suffer from Crohn's and ulcerative colitis."
Still, he said, it’s important to recognize the problem, open up to family and friend and consult your physician to take medical steps to control it, something Thomas acknowledged was hard for him to do. Dr. Taleban said not only are there therapies to help reduce complications from IBD, but the hospital also can recommend patient support groups for it as well. He noted that the groups used to meet at BUMCT, but got too big for the space available.
To find out more about local IBD support groups, Dr. Taleban recommends visiting the Southwest Chapter webpage for the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America and clicking on “Support Groups” at: www.ccfa.org/chapters/southwest
Dr. Taleban also recommends Arizona IBD patients check the Twitter feed and Facebook webpage for the program at the University of Arizona for additional news and information. See @UnivofArizonaIBD for Twitter and click here for Facebook.
See more on the above story at Craig Thomas's Facebook page here. His Twitter handle is @CraigThomasTV.