by Deborah Pardo-Kaplan

IBD: A Jewish Disease

For 18 years, I have lived with ulcerative colitis, an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that often runs in Jewish families. The symptoms—a chronic sense of urgency, bloody diarrhea, fever, dehydration—are not constant, but randomly come and go. During the many years when I endured severe flare-ups, I reluctantly considered a nearby hospital my second home. Since the age of 17 when I first developed the disease, I would sometimes stop by the emergency room for a short stint to subdue flare-up symptoms quickly with intravenous steroids. But usually I would spend more than a week in the hospital while doctors tried to induce remission of my symptoms.

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