Why Clinical Trials Are Essential for Crohn's and Colitis Treatment Advancement
Those who suffer from Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, conditions collectively referred to as irritable bowel disease (IBD), know what an impediment it can be to one’s everyday life. In addition to the physical symptoms of the condition, the anxieties that accompany it can make those with IBD pull back from things in their life for fear of a flare-up.
Everyone experiences Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis differently, and often times, a person will experience the same condition in different forms over the course of their life. Symptoms include, but are not limited to, diarrhea, fatigue, fever, and sudden weight loss. Since both of the conditions are inflammatory diseases, physical pain, especially in the abdominal area, is also a common symptom. Needless to say, IBD can be a disabling condition for many.
Those who suffer from ulcerative colitis know how difficult it is to carry on with their everyday routine. Apart from the physical symptoms that come along with this medical condition, there are also accompanying mental anxieties which can lead the individual to recede from certain things in life with a constant fear of a potential outbreak of symptoms. Every person experiences this condition differently, and the same individual may even experience the same symptoms in various forms over the course of their life. For many people, this condition tends to make them mentally off-balanced. So, it is very important to have a safe method of treatment for managing one’s symptoms with the hope that one day there will be a cure for this condition as well. The current forms of treatment involve a combination of anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, nutritional drugs, and, when deemed necessary, immune system suppressors. But it has been observed that around 35 to 40 percent of patients do not always adhere to the guidelines of the medications, and the medication process itself is somewhat complex on its own. Due to the complexity, most individuals are unable to keep up with the treatment, which involves multiple drugs, modifications in eating habits, and, in extreme instances, there may even be a need for surgery as well. So, there is a need for newer forms of drugs and therapies, which require clinical trials before being considered for approval. Clinical trials are essentially studies that make use of active participants. These trials are very important for treating a lot of chronic medical conditions. They try to regulate what can and what should not be sold to the consumer. But researchers have to struggle to get the right participants, and the other half of the issue is knowledge related. In the case of patients, they also have their share of worries or hesitations related to the time commitment to participate in such trials as well as the possible side effects of undergoing the experimental treatments. There is also a lot of time spent recruiting participants who meet the requirements of the clinical trials, and the same issue persists for this medical condition as well. It has been noted that, due to the damage caused by IBD, the disease often interrupts or at times completely cancels the clinical trials, and the reason can be due to a lack of enrollment, among other obstacles. So, there has been an increase in the awareness of ongoing trials, mostly those that are seeking to find new participants. By speeding up the process of recruitment, researchers are hoping to move ahead with the trials to a more consistent basis, which would hopefully then result in several new treatment options for those suffering from IBD. For the time being, there are also other ways of managing one’s symptoms.