How IBD Patients in Ohio Can Now Qualify for MMJ
Irritable bowel disease (irritable bowel syndrome) is a chronic disease that results in chronic pain, gastrointestinal tract disorders, and dietary difficulties. In some cases, IBDs can cause chronic fatigue and weight loss, painful gas and bloating, and other problems.
Life with IBD can be very difficult for patients, as the symptoms are unpredictable. Now that Ohio has added irritable bowel disease as a qualifying condition for a medical marijuana card, patients have another option to explore to help with symptom management.
What Are the Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome?
As with any clinical condition, symptoms can vary depending on the patient. If you have been diagnosed with irritable bowel syndrome, you may experience one or several of the common symptoms. Some patients can experience multiple symptoms at the same time.
When you are living with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) you may experience:
The types of abdominal pain that patients with IBS experience can range from cramps to sharp aches. Some people may feel there is a sense of pressure or fullness in the abdominal area when cramps occur.
People living with IBS may have heightened gut sensitivity. This is called visceral hypersensitivity, which means the digestive tract (intestines) are more sensitive to normal contractions, including stool movements. That can trigger complex regional pain syndrome because it may cause abnormal contractions of the intestinal muscles.
When there are feelings of increased abdominal pressure or fullness, you may be experiencing bloating. This is a common symptom for patients with IBS and can be accompanied by other symptoms such as abdominal pain or gas.
While intestinal contractions for people with IBS can be strong and painful, some people experience contractions that are not strong enough. This hampers the intestines and their ability to push food and waste through the tract and into the bowels, causing constipation.
Some studies have suggested that high inflammation in the digestive tract and other changes in motility and digestive sensitivity can increase gas production. While flatulence can be an embarrassing condition, it can also be accompanied by gas-related abdominal pain and pressure.
Changes in Stool Appearance
Because of the abnormal and hypersensitive functioning of the gastrointestinal tract, people with IBS can experience problems with a balanced gut microbiome. Inflammation can cause acidity in the GI tract to increase, killing off healthy bacteria.
This can also cause changes in the appearance and consistency of stool. It may also cause mucus to be present in bowel movements. Patients with IBS often struggle between diarrhea conditions and constipation, which can vary depending on dietary triggers (high-fat or gas-producing foods) versus consumption of high-fiber foods.
Are IBD and Ulcerative Colitis Related?
Yes, ulcerative colitis (UC) and inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are related. And so is another better-known condition called Crohn’s disease. They all share some similarities, but there are a few differences between each condition.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a type of IBD that primarily affects the colon, the rectum, and the large intestine. It can cause ulcers (sores) to develop on the inside of each area, causing feelings of urgency for a bowel movement, abdominal pain, and rectal bleeding.
Crohn’s disease is another type of IBD that can strike in any area of the digestive tract, from the esophagus to the rectum. People diagnosed with Crohn’s disease may experience abscesses, fistulas, or strictures. Crohn’s disease can also cause fatigue and weight loss.
How Can Medical Marijuana Help With IBD?
Patients who have IBD can develop mood disorders, such as anxiety, which can make symptoms of the disease worse. Some people find that medical cannabis can help temporarily alleviate anxiety, which may also help reduce the severity of symptoms.
Pain management is another important aspect for patients with IBD. Certain strains of medical marijuana may help with chronic pain. Compared to conventional pain medications (which can cause further digestive upset), cannabis may work better to relieve cramps and pain from bloating.
Many patients with IBD can develop problems with low appetite. Imagine not knowing whether the food you are eating is going to result in painful symptoms. Nausea and acidity in the gut can also reduce the desire to eat. Some types of medical cannabis have terpenes and minor cannabinoids that can be very effective at temporarily reducing the discomfort of nausea and stimulating appetite.
What Are The Qualifying Medical Marijuana Conditions in Ohio?
Many patients who live in Ohio may not be aware of the large number of qualifying medical marijuana conditions that can make them eligible to get a medical card. The Ohio State Medical Board has determined an expansive list of conditions for patients.
At the time of writing, the qualifying health conditions for medical marijuana in Ohio are:
- Alzheimer’s disease.
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
- Chronic traumatic encephalopathy.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Epilepsy or another seizure disorder.
- Hepatitis C.
- Huntington’s disease.
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable.
- Parkinson’s disease.
- Positive status for HIV.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Sickle cell anemia.
- Spinal cord disease or injury.
- Terminal illness (end-of-life compassionate care).
- Tourette syndrome.
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI).
- Ulcerative colitis.
If you have been diagnosed with at least one of the qualifying medical marijuana conditions in Ohio, you may qualify for medical marijuana treatment. Schedule a telemedicine appointment today with DocMJ and apply for your medical card.
I am a Chief Marketing Officer at DocMJ, a leading provider of medical cannabis health services to qualified patients. I have over 20 years of experience in healthcare marketing and communications, with a proven track record of delivering impactful and compliant campaigns that educate, inform, and empower patients to make better choices for their health and wellness.