With the aim of making inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) visible and promoting timely diagnosis, Janssen, a group of pharmaceutical companies, Johnson & Johnson joins the commemoration of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Awareness Month with its initiative #SigaSinPausa .
Although inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has a high prevalence in Latin America, and especially in Guatemala, the current availability of innovative treatments allows thousands of people with this pathology to continue with their lives as normal and to make their dreams come true. Can
IBD refers to disorders that present with chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Symptoms depend on the intensity of the inflammation and the location where it develops, however, the most common include abdominal pain, frequent diarrhea, fatigue, the presence of blood and mucus in the stool, involuntary weight loss, among others.
Although the first symptoms of IBD can be simple, such as abdominal pain or diarrhea, without adequate treatment they can worsen to the point of preventing the sufferer from carrying on with the daily routine, even with their family, professional and Can also affect social. Delay in diagnosis affects patients’ quality of life, limits their treatment options, and even, in some cases, puts their lives at risk.
“The urgency of reaching a timely diagnosis of IBD is due to the implications that inadequate management of the disease has on the patient’s life. Its symptoms are confused with minor discomforts that do not necessarily concern the patient or, worse, those in the first line of care. Alert a health professional, but the fact is that this is a disease that, if neglected, can lead to death”, Dr. Nadhikrishna Samyo Gonzalez, Gastroenterologist.
Little is known about IBD in the world, especially in Latin America. In 2017, IBD had a prevalence of 33.7 cases per 100,000 inhabitants in the Central American and Caribbean region. In the case of Guatemala in particular, it can be estimated that the disease is still underdiagnosed, as currently a little more than 40 patients are registered in the whole country. Therefore, increasing awareness of these conditions in the medical community and encouraging timely referral to the specialist in charge is a priority.
In addition to diagnosing the disease itself, diagnosing IBD also requires high-tech options that make the diagnostic process for patients more agile. Currently, colonoscopy is the most effective technique for establishing the diagnosis of this disease, therefore it is necessary to have the necessary equipment for its execution and specialists to evaluate the results.
“Colonoscopy allows us to directly view the intestinal mucosa and obtain biopsies that are necessary to identify areas of inflammation and determine the severity of lesions. In this way, the patient can choose the most appropriate treatment individually for his or her condition.” can achieve”, Dr. Samoyao explained.
Although IBD is a chronic condition and has no cure, it is currently possible to adequately manage symptoms and control disease with treatments such as aminosalicylics, corticosteroids, immunosuppressants, antibiotics, and biologic drugs. These treatments allow patients to resume or maintain their daily routines without the interruptions of IBD, recover their autonomy and prevent the severe intestinal lesions that often permanently compromise the organ.
Under this scenario, for the third year in a row, Janssen joins the commemoration of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Awareness Month with its initiative #SigaSinPausa, which aims to educate some Central Americans about IBD, especially Crohn’s disease. And to create more visibility in Caribbean countries. and ulcerative colitis, promoting the importance of timely diagnosis.
“At Janssen we have a strong commitment to patients, we will continue to forge ahead in the development of new solutions that allow patients to achieve sustained remission of their symptoms, while options arise that may one day allow them to be treated , and even prevent them”. Oscar Gonzales, immunology medical manager for Janssen Venezuela, Central America and the Caribbean, concluded.