|Greetings!|Welcome to our CIRCLE. The first issue of our new patient and family focused eNewsletter is aimed at getting you involved. One simple way you can get involved is by giving us your feedback on CIRCLE. Your comments and suggestions will shape it into something extraordinary! Please share CIRCLE with others who might enjoy and benefit from it. Thank YOU!
In The Loop
|'Get Better Now' Video|
For five years ImproveCareNow has been steadily designing and refining a process to develop prepared, proactive practice teams at all of the care centers in our Network. Now it is time to broaden our scope and design ways for patients and families to get involved in the ImproveCareNow Network - because research tells us that involvement plays a critical role in improving outcomes for patients with chronic illness, like Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis. Plus we would like to get to know you.
CIRCLE is a great new way to stay in the loop with ImproveCareNow - to get informed about who we are, what we are doing and how you can take part in it. Look for the 'Get Involved' section in each monthly issue and for our highlighted opportunities - whether testing a C3N intervention (Passive PRO) or volunteering your voice on an advisory council (PAC) - every bit counts.
|Richard Colletti, M|
Kids with Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis often have low levels of vitamin D. How does that happen? When you are not feeling well, you don't eat as well. If you don't eat foods supplemented with vitamin D, it could lead to a vitamin D deficiency. You put sun screen on to prevent skin cancer (a good thing to do), but sun screen also blocks the ultraviolet rays that stimulate your body to make vitamin D. Some patients with Crohn's disease have inflammation in the part of the intestine that absorbs vitamin D into the body, so some of the vitamin D eaten goes right through without being absorbed.
Vitamin D is important for bone growth, bone density and bone strength, and for growth itself. So getting enough vitamin D is especially important for growing kids. Vitamin D also appears to have other health benefits.
How much is enough vitamin D? Recently recommendations have changed-more vitamin D is recommended now than before: 600 units a day (instead of 400) for kids 1 to 18 years old. For patients with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, sometimes more may be necessary, such as 800 or 1,000 or more units per day. (Caution: excessive intake of vitamin D can be harmful.) Ask your clinician or dietician what the right amount is for you.
How do you get enough vitamin D? A daily multivitamin supplement usually has 400 units per tablet so that's a good place to start. Vitamin D tablets are also available. Milk and yogurt are fortified with vitamin D, usually about 100 units per serving. Some orange juice is fortified with vitamin D.
To absorb vitamin D into your body, it has to be bound to some fat. So when you take your vitamin D supplement (including skim milk or non-fat yogurt) be sure to eat a food with fat at the same time, for example, at least 2 or 3 teaspoons of peanut butter, or margarine or oil.
No bones about it! Get your daily vitamin D. For more information click here.
Living with IBD
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Do you feel like doctors appointments have come and gone, and you still have questions? Is it difficult to keep track of all the pills and prescriptions? ImproveCareNow understands these challenges and believes that productive interactions between informed, engaged patients and prepared, proactive, practice teams will lead to better outcomes for patients.
Download Living Well with Inflammatory Bowel Disease: A Self-Management Handbook for Patients and Families with IBD. This free 114-page guide offers a variety of tools for tracking symptoms, managing medications, and planning for office visits so that you and your care team can make the most of your time together.
Self-Management centers on the idea that patients (and their families) know themselves best, and that most of their time is spent away from the clinic (and their care team). Tracking symptoms and using them to recognize the signs of a flare; taking the right medications at the right times; showing up for appointments or infusions; and monitoring nutritional intake and growth status are all important ways that patients with Crohn's Disease and ulcerative colitis can better manage their care and feel well instead of sick.
Speaking of tracking symptoms - check out the opportunity for patients to test the Passive PRO app with our partner, the C3N innovation lab. This is an awesome opportunity to help the C3N team transform the system of chronic illness care for IBD - and it takes some of the work out of Self-Management.