We all do it these days. We worry that every cough… every wheeze… every headache… and every sneeze could be a sign of a COVID-19 coronavirus infection.
In many cases, it turns out to just be a cold or allergies. And we can breathe a stuffed up sigh of relief.
But more than 1.5 million Americans have now suffered the real thing. And if it happens to you or a loved one, you need to take quick action to help keep yourself safe.
Since every case is different, that may mean keeping your blood sugar in check if you’re diabetic or making sure to refill your asthma meds.
But now there’s a new warning for folk suffering from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It turns out they may need to quit certain meds while they’re sick to give their body a chance to fight the infection.
But not everyone has gotten the message. Even some doctors may have missed it.
Some IBD drugs could hinder COVID-19 recovery
Here’s the most important thing to keep in mind. If you’re NOT sick, don’t change a thing. If you’re on meds under your doctor’s care, keep right on taking them.
But if you DO get a confirmed coronavirus infection, a new expert commentary published in the medical journal Gastroenterology advises you should take a break from certain drugs.
Specifically, thiopurines and methotrexate as well as tofacitinib (aka Xeljanz) along with certain biological therapies.
Now, in ordinary times, if you got sick, you’d call your doctor. And if you were diagnosed with coronavirus, HE would be giving YOU all this information. But these times are anything but ordinary.
If you’ve been exposed to the COVID-19 bug, you might not be in the care of your regular doctor. You might see someone who isn’t familiar with your medical history and – even if it’s all in the computer – may not know you have IBD, and you’re on these meds.
Or you might see your usual doc, but he’s been so busy that he hasn’t seen the warning in Gastroenterology and doesn’t know you shouldn’t be on the drugs.
Don’t slip through the coronavirus cracks
Don’t take matters into your own hands. But don’t let yourself slip through the cracks either.
Things are moving fast when it comes to this new illness, and it’s easy for some things to get overlooked. But you don’t want YOUR situation to be one of them. So, in either case, make sure to say something to your doctor.
Tell him about your IBD and remind him of your meds. Mention that you’ve read about this journal report. And ask if you should quit or continue with your IBD meds, then follow his expert advice.
If you DON’T have the infection, don’t stress out.
There’s no evidence that IBD will increase your risk of getting it. And no evidence that IBD will make it worse if you do get sick.
But at the same time battling both conditions is a nightmare you just don’t need. So practice careful social distancing to prevent exposure to the virus and help keep yourself safe from this dual-threat.