Thor was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at just 14 years old after developing stomach flu and experiencing persisting symptoms. He explains the impact Crohn’s has had on his life and the difficulty around talking about this topic.
Watch Thor and Laura discuss living with Crohn’s disease, Laura’s research into genital Crohn’s, and the importance of starting conversations and funding research.
Miss Laura Hancock is a Consultant General and Colorectal Surgeon whose research interests centre around IBD. She is the lead on a project funded by Bowel Research UK about patients with Crohn’s disease who have genital involvement. This has a devastating impact on physical and mental health, resulting in inability to work, exercise or have an active sex life. The research team have looked at what has been published previously on genital Crohn’s and this has shown that young women are disproportionately affected and can experience debilitating symptoms for years before they are diagnosed. Currently, little is known about how best to diagnose or treat this
To learn more about Miss Hancock’s work, follow this link here
On the importance of having hard to have conversations, Thor says: “I think I’m a bit of a unique case because my, my dad had ulcerative colitis and my mom was a nurse with a very morbid sense of humour. So speaking about this kind of thing wasn’t really an issue, but I think there needs to be a concerted effort to just get people to open up. It’s not. It’s not a big deal.”
Laura discusses how these conversations can benefit research: “Sometimes an uncomfortable subject really helps not just for the patient, but for the clinician as well. Patients and clinicians can then both understand the research and how it affects patients so that we can get patients to an earlier, more rapid diagnosis and hopefully treatments in the end”.