Understanding IBD – AMP

More than 3 million people in the U.S. are living with IBD (about 11 million people worldwide) and the disease’s prevalence continues to grow. Every person with IBD is different in so many ways, including their specific diagnosis, disease severity, and disease location in the GI system. IBD also affects their quality of life and ability to work, go to school, take care of children, and more. The articles below — and many more IBD Articles — are available in the Oshi app.

Oshi is a tracking tool and content resource. It does not render medical advice or services, and it is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You should always review this information with your healthcare professionals.

Oshi is available for download on the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.

WHAT IS IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) manifests itself differently in everyone who lives with it, and its many potential issues can be hard to understand for those who don’t. Here’s a cheat sheet on what IBD is—for you and for anyone who’s been peppering you with questions.

What Exactly Is IBD, Anyway?

IBD is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the intestines. Depending on the site involved and the degree of inflammation, an individual with IBD will have a characteristic set of symptoms and possible complications. There are two major types of IBD: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC).

What’s the Difference Between Crohn’s and UC?

Ulcerative colitis is limited to the lining of the colon, where it causes inflammation and sores (ulcers). Crohn’s disease can cause inflammation in the full thickness of the wall of the intestine and along the entire digestive tract. However, Crohn’s usually manifests in the small intestine or colon.

What Are the Symptoms of IBD?

People with IBD may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, blood in their stool, constipation, fatigue, trouble sleeping, weight loss, dehydration, and nutrient deficiencies. When symptoms are present, a person is considered to be having a flare-up or flare.

What Causes IBD?

Researchers are still working to discover the cause (or causes) of IBD, which may differ depending on the individual and the type of IBD. In some people, IBD may be caused by their body’s immune system attacking its own intestinal tissue, leading to inflammation, although this theory hasn’t been proven. Other possible causes include an imbalance of bacteria in the gut microbiome, or a variety of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

How Is IBD Diagnosed?

To diagnose gastrointestinal symptoms, your primary care physician or gastroenterologist may run a series of tests to determine if you’re experiencing anemia, an infection, or blood in the stool. Additionally, a colonoscopy, endoscopy, or enteroscopy may be performed to examine the tissues in your intestines. Imaging procedures, such as CT scans and MRIs, also may be ordered to get a full picture of your digestive tract. Your doctor will use all of this information to determine if you have IBD, and if so, where it’s manifesting and what type it is.

What Are Some Other Ways to Cope?

Finding a support network or online group of fellow IBD warriors may be helpful. Non-profit organizations for patient support and education like the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation are an excellent resource. Educating yourself about the disease also may prove beneficial for your own peace of mind.

Tracking your symptoms—along with diet, sleep, exercise, and stress levels—also has helped to empower a lot of people with IBD to better manage their quality of life and reduce flares.

How Many People Have IBD?

If you’re living with IBD, you’re not alone: An estimated 3 million people in the U.S. reported being diagnosed with IBD in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Is There a Cure for IBD?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for IBD—at least, not yet—but medical treatments, lifestyle changes, and complementary therapies have helped many IBD warriors soothe their symptoms and even reach a stage where they’re no longer experiencing flares, which is generally considered being “in remission.”

IBD vs IBS

Know the Difference

Lots of people get confused when it comes to IBS and IBD. Not only do they sound similar, but they have a lot of similar symptoms. People with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) typically experience abdominal pain and a variety of related gastrointestinal issues, as do people with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis). To help make it easier to understand the similarities and differences between the two, we’ve put together this handy compare-and-contrast guide.

Symptoms

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Many IBS sufferers experience recurring symptoms, including a combination of cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and/or abdominal pain and bloating. They may also have food intolerances, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: People with IBD may experience ALL of the symptoms related to IBS. The biggest difference between the two, symptom-wise, is that people with IBD may also have fever, blood in their stool, reduced appetite with nausea and/or vomiting, and weight loss.

Causes

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: We do not yet know what causes IBS, but an international survey of 40,000 people concluded the condition may be triggered by stress in some form or another. Most (but not all) IBS sufferers are women: IBS is about 1.5 to 3 times more prevalent in women compared with men, and some experts theorize that the condition may be triggered by hormonal changes.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: As with IBS, experts haven’t figured out what causes IBD. Some possibilities include genetic or hereditary factors, the makeup of bacteria in the digestive system, cigarette smoking, and environmental factors.

Diagnosis

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: IBS is often diagnosed by examining your medical history and by blood tests and stool inspection. Doctors may want to exclude other GI conditions that present in the same way.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Doctors often diagnose IBD by performing a colonoscopy and possibly an upper endoscopy, as well as ordering blood tests and special X-rays or MRIs.

Severity

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Although IBS is not considered as debilitating as IBD, the psychological and physical reactions can take a serious toll on quality of life. As such, treatment is often considered necessary to address the symptoms of IBS.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: IBD is considered a chronic autoimmune disease. Depending on its severity, it can significantly limit quality of life and interfere with social activities, as well as school and work. While IBD itself is not considered fatal, it can result in systemic illnesses, such as anemia and nutrient deficiencies, and can lead to serious complications like infections and even colon cancer.

Treatment

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Treatment for IBS can range from making dietary and lifestyle changes to taking prescription medications aimed at managing bowel activity and nerves.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: The wide array of treatment options for those who suffer from IBD include lifestyle changes, dietary changes, Western medical treatments (ranging from corticosteroids and other medications to target the immune system to surgery), as well as alternative and complementary medical treatments.

INDIVIDUALIZED CARE

Everybody with IBD is Different

If you have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you likely have a unique set of symptoms and issues as a result of where the inflammation manifests in your intestines and how your body reacts to this inflammation. The IBDs are complex disorders that are different in every affected individual; no two people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are the same.

For example, Crohn’s disease may be located in the small intestine, colon, or a combination of both, and it may be one of three different types: one that causes just inflammation, one that causes strictures or narrowing in the intestine, or one that causes fistulas (or connections) between the intestine and other parts of the body, like out to the skin.

To complicate matters more, even people with the same type and location of IBD may have different symptoms due to their differences in pain tolerance, differing responses to medications, and the presence of other symptoms associated with IBD, such as joint pain.

Fortunately, in recent years, the healthcare provider community has begun to embrace the concept of “individualized care,” and it is now gaining momentum among specialists who treat IBD. Many of these physicians now acknowledge that all facets of a person’s disease and how it affects them have to be considered when deciding on the optimal treatment plan.

Doctor explains Crohn's complications with patient discussing GI and digestive tract issues, IBD symptoms, Crohn's disease

Individualized Care in Action

Here’s an example of how individualized care might look: Let’s say two patients with Crohn’s disease walk into an IBD clinic to see the doctor. They may have both been diagnosed with the same disease, but it looks and feels different for each one of them.

The first individual has intermittent loose stools and abdominal cramping, while the second person has those symptoms plus abdominal pain around the belly button area, occasional nausea, and weight loss. The first person is able to work and take care of her family, while the second has had to take time away from his school and is not eating or sleeping well. The doctor’s diagnostic workup reveals differences in terms of where the disease is located in each person, too.

So now, the doctor can take all of that information into account and also factor in how the disease affects each individual’s overall well-being. Based on all of this information, the first patient is prescribed an oral topical steroid medication called Budesonide, while the second is treated with a biologic, as well as the systemic steroid Prednisone and a modified diet.

Beware of “Dr. Google”

The fact that no two people with IBD are alike is important to keep in mind whenever you’re searching the Internet for information. If you are one of the millions of people who search “Dr. Google” on a regular basis, remember that search engines are limited by the information you input to start your search, and they don’t necessarily know whether or not sites are credible and correspond to your specific disease.

In addition, a search for something like “Crohn’s disease” and “abdominal pain” will likely result in a slew of information that does not necessarily correspond to your unique body. You may receive advice on anti-inflammatory medications or diets or probiotics that would be great for someone else with Crohn’s disease, but not for you.

Individualizing Your Treatment Plan

Fortunately, individualized care is rapidly becoming the accepted way to treat IBD. You may want to speak with your healthcare providers to ensure your treatment plan has been custom-tailored for you—and to make sure it’s up-to-date based on the latest information about your symptoms, how these symptoms are affecting you on a day-to-day basis, and the disease characteristics discovered by your physician on diagnostic workup.

When a doctor asks a lot of questions about your various symptoms, take the time to explain what is ongoing—and, if this is a return visit, be sure to share what has changed since your last visit. To round out your care, make sure to discuss how the disease affects you on a daily basis in terms of sleep, exercise, relaxation, and the ability to work or go to school or take care of family.

Next, your doctor may order a series of tests to learn more about what type of IBD you have.

It is important to discuss with your doctor all the aspects that characterize your IBD for a greater understanding of your specific disease. For example, you may want to ask:

  • Where your inflammation is located (small intestine vs. colon, where in the colon?)
  • How severe it is (mild, moderate, or severe)
  • Whether or not it is thought to be in remission

Based on all this information, your doctor will be able to discuss treatment options with you, such as anti-inflammatories, medications that modulate the immune system, or biologic medications, or a combination of these. In the individualized care model, doctors also will take into consideration your preferences based on medications’ safety profiles, side effects, and mode of delivery (such as pills vs. injections vs. infusions).

Using all the information that is unique to you, the doctor also will be able to prescribe a diet that is right for you, keeping in mind that this may change through the course of the disease. The doctor also will reinforce with you the need for rest, exercise, and relaxation.

This kind of individualized plan of care will likely be the fastest and safest approach to get you feeling well again and to get your IBD into remission.

Oshi is available for download on the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.


Partnerships

Oshi Health, Inc. is partnering with leading healthcare organizations to bring our novel technology solution to IBD patients everwhere. 

The Oshi app is based on peer-reviewed research on the benefits of digital health, and uses the proven and highest-ranked validated PRO questionnaires for mobile use.

Oshi Health, Inc. is partnering with leading healthcare organizations to bring our novel technology solution to IBD patients everwhere. 

The Oshi app is based on peer-reviewed research on the benefits of digital health, and uses the proven and highest-ranked validated PRO questionnaires for mobile use.

group of scientists working at the laboratory.

PHARMA & THERAPEUTICS

As the #1 IBD tracker app Oshi is a key partner for pharmaceutical and therapeutic brands. We offer the opportunity to provide in-app education and support at the time users are seeking more information on the prescribed therapies. Oshi aims to provide a complete digital patient support program for users with IBD within the application, including biometric tracking, educational materials, medication adherence, patient-provider communication and more. Our platform enables you to provide digital resources that support all stages of treatment. Oshi also supports research opportunities and clinical trial recruitment. 

 

Please contact us to learn about ways we can support your brand’s needs.

group of scientists working at the laboratory.

PHARMA & THERAPEUTICS

As the #1 IBD tracker app Oshi is a key partner for pharmaceutical and therapeutic brands. We offer the opportunity to provide in-app education and support at the time users are seeking more information on the prescribed therapies. Oshi aims to provide a complete digital patient support program for users with IBD within the application, including biometric tracking, educational materials, medication adherence, patient-provider communication and more. Our platform enables you to provide digital resources that support all stages of treatment. Oshi also supports research opportunities and clinical trial recruitment. 

 

Please contact us to learn about ways we can support your brand’s needs.

Man viewing Oshi mobile app on a smart phone

EMPLOYERS & PAYERS

Oshi Health shares the same goals of employers & payers in optimizing health & wellness and preventing diseases.

Currently, $28 billion is spent on IBD care in U.S. There is no known cure, and available treatment options have major side effects and every patient responds differently. Plus, a medication that puts someone into remission today often suddenly stops working after a year or two, requiring additional trial and error to find a new treatment that helps. As a result, surgery is common and is needed for 70% of Crohn’s disease and 30% of ulcerative colitis patients.

Given the high need of this patient population, Oshi, the first an all-in-one solution for IBD patients, will provide products and services that will be in high demand for all stakeholders across the IBD community, including employers & payers.

Oshi supports automated syncing of health data from leading fitness devices, sensors, and wearables (IoT). Our platform is used to collect patient-reported outcomes data in real time. Improved disease management means more “good days” and less down time or lost productivity.

There is evidence that tools such as Oshi improve quality of care in IBD patients. We are undergoing a Randomized Control Study to demonstrate that patients using Oshi have better outcomes and cost less to treat than patients not using Oshi. This data will help us register as a Digital Therapeutic.

Please contact us to learn about ways we can support your patient population.

Man viewing Oshi mobile app on a smart phone

EMPLOYERS & PAYERS

Oshi Health shares the same goals of employers & payers in optimizing health & wellness and preventing diseases.

Currently, $28 billion is spent on IBD care in U.S. There is no known cure, and available treatment options have major side effects and every patient responds differently. Plus, a medication that puts someone into remission today often suddenly stops working after a year or two, requiring additional trial and error to find a new treatment that helps. As a result, surgery is common and is needed for 70% of Crohn’s disease and 30% of ulcerative colitis patients.

Given the high need of this patient population, Oshi, the first an all-in-one solution for IBD patients, will provide products and services that will be in high demand for all stakeholders across the IBD community, including employers & payers.

Oshi supports automated syncing of health data from leading fitness devices, sensors, and wearables (IoT). Our platform is used to collect patient-reported outcomes data in real time. Improved disease management means more “good days” and less down time or lost productivity.

There is evidence that tools such as Oshi improve quality of care in IBD patients. We are undergoing a Randomized Control Study to demonstrate that patients using Oshi have better outcomes and cost less to treat than patients not using Oshi. This data will help us register as a Digital Therapeutic.

Please contact us to learn about ways we can support your patient population.

Gastroenterologist talks with patient in hospital; use Oshi Mobile App to track IBD, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis symptoms.

DOCTORS & RESEARCHERS

Doctors

Oshi Health supports healthcare providers by collecting patient reported outcomes in-between doctor visits and aggregating that information into condensed trend reports. This information helps you understand more about their patient’s IBD condition outside of the office and provides more data on which to base treatment optimization decisions. 

 

In addition to tracking, Oshi is an all-in-one app that provides dynamic and engaging content for patients that is medically-sound and reviewed by physicians and experts.

 

Please contact us to learn about ways we can support your practice and patients.

Gastroenterologist talks with patient in hospital; use Oshi Mobile App to track IBD, Crohn’s, ulcerative colitis symptoms.

DOCTORS & RESEARCHERS

Doctors

Oshi Health supports healthcare providers by collecting patient reported outcomes in-between doctor visits and aggregating that information into condensed trend reports. This information helps you understand more about their patient’s IBD condition outside of the office and provides more data on which to base treatment optimization decisions. 

 

In addition to tracking, Oshi is an all-in-one app that provides dynamic and engaging content for patients that is medically-sound and reviewed by physicians and experts.

 

Please contact us to learn about ways we can support your practice and patients.

This app is great to have in your back pocket as you attend doctor’s appointments. You can look at all the information you’ve tracked and be able to communicate clearly what your needs are and where your concerns are. We now have the power to advance our own healthcare and give our GIs a clear look at the story of our day-to-day lives. –Natalie Hayden, Patient Advocate

This app is great to have in your back pocket as you attend doctor’s appointments. You can look at all the information you’ve tracked and be able to communicate clearly what your needs are and where your concerns are. We now have the power to advance our own healthcare and give our GIs a clear look at the story of our day-to-day lives. –Natalie Hayden, Patient Advocate

Please contact us to learn about ways we can support your practice and patients.

Please contact us to learn about ways we can support your practice and patients.

Researchers

Customize Oshi for your clinical studies

Oshi Health empowers medical researchers with a digital solution for patient engagement, data gathering, and analysis.

The Oshi Health platform can be customized and optimized to your needs to create an integrated end-to-end patient interface for GI-focused clinical studies. Our platform is the world-leading tool in IBD for collecting robust clinical phenotyping and patient-reported data. We can power your research study and data collection.

Researchers

Customize Oshi for your clinical studies

Oshi Health empowers medical researchers with a digital solution for patient engagement, data gathering, and analysis.

The Oshi Health platform can be customized and optimized to your needs to create an integrated end-to-end patient interface for GI-focused clinical studies. Our platform is the world-leading tool in IBD for collecting robust clinical phenotyping and patient-reported data. We can power your research study and data collection.

Oshi Health is innovating with disruptive tech that will improve the lives of people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The research platform is the world-leading tool in IBD for collecting robust clinical phenotyping and patient reported data. —Dr. Charlie Lees, Gastroenterologist & Researcher, University of Edinburgh

Oshi Health is innovating with disruptive tech that will improve the lives of people with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The research platform is the world-leading tool in IBD for collecting robust clinical phenotyping and patient reported data. —Dr. Charlie Lees, Gastroenterologist & Researcher, University of Edinburgh

Please contact us to learn about ways we can support your clinical study.

Please contact us to learn about ways we can support your clinical study.

Oshi is the first all-in-one app to help individuals live their best life with IBD. The free mobile app launched to the public in June 2018. User data is protected with best-in-class security.

The Oshi app is based on peer-reviewed research on the benefits of digital health, and uses the proven and highest-ranked validated PRO questionnaires for mobile use.

Oshi is available for download on the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.

Oshi is the first all-in-one app to help individuals live their best life with IBD. The free mobile app launched to the public in June 2018. User data is protected with best-in-class security.

The Oshi app is based on peer-reviewed research on the benefits of digital health, and uses the proven and highest-ranked validated PRO questionnaires for mobile use.

Oshi is available for download on the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.


About

Mission

We created Oshi Health because every person with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) is different. As many people know, keeping track of lifestyle factors that may affect IBD symptoms and well-being — and finding reliable information about IBD — is NOT easy. That’s why Oshi gives people the tools to make smarter decisions for living their best life with IBD. And it’s the first all-in-one ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s app where you can TRACK symptoms and actions (to discover hidden patterns about what might be triggering your flares), LEARN from an abundance of carefully curated content, and ASK our expert team of health professionals.

Early studies point to significant benefits in patient-reported outcome measures through the use of digital IBD solutions.  

Oshi Health Crohn's app for smartphones

Mission

We created the Oshi Health app because every person with inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) is different. As many people know, keeping track of lifestyle factors that may affect IBD symptoms and well-being — and finding reliable information about IBD — is NOT easy. That’s why Oshi gives people the tools to make smarter decisions for living their best life with IBD. And it’s the first all-in-one ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s app where you can TRACK symptoms and actions (to discover hidden patterns about what might be triggering your flares), LEARN from an abundance of carefully curated content, and ASK our expert team of health professionals.

Early studies point to significant benefits in patient-reported outcome measures through the use of digital IBD solutions.  

Oshi smartphone app for Crohn's disease management, tracking, information about IBD, and answers questions about IBD

Oshi Health Team

Oshi Health Smartphone App for Crohn's team on New York City office building rooftop with Empire State Building in background.

Oshi Health Team

Oshi Health Smartphone App for Crohn's team on New York City office building rooftop with Empire State Building in background.

Board of Advisors

Clinical Advisors

Patient Advocates

Press

Please contact Steve King (Head of Growth) at 833-GET-OSHI.

Background Information:

Fact Sheet (PDF download )

Executive Summary (PDF download ⇩)

Press Releases:

Oshi Health Announces Expansion of Leadership Team as Firm Continues Rapid Growth – 19 December, 2018 (PDF download ⇩)

Oshi Health Expands #1 IBD Mobile App into Canada, Denmark, and the United Kingdom  – 6 December, 2018 (PDF download )

Oshi Health Launches First All-in-One Mobile App to Empower Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), including Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis – 30 May, 2018 (PDF download )

Honors: 

Best Native Mobile App, Consumer Disease-Focused Site (Silver Winner)
eHealthcare Leadership Award (November 2019)

Best App: Oshi Health (Finalist)
PM 360 Trailblazer Awards (August 2019)

ELITE 100, Entrepreneur: Dan Weinstein, CEO, Oshi Health
PM 360 ELITE (May 2019)

Gold Stevie Award Winner, Health App
Bronze Stevie Award Winner, Tech Startup of the Year – Software
American Business Awards 2019

Pitch Perfect Competition: Health IT Division (Finalist)
MedCity INVEST Conference (April 2019)

AGA Center for GI Innovation and Technology “Shark Tank” (Winner)
AGA Tech Summit – American Gastroenterological Association (April 2019)

Most Fundable Startup: Health 2.0 VentureConnect at HIMSS19 (Finalist)
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Health 2.0 Annual Conference (February 2019)

Excellence in Health, Med & Biotech (Finalist)
11th Annual Media Excellence Awards (December 18, 2018)

Silver Award Winner: Oshi Health: the First All-in-One Mobile App to Empower Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Digital Health Awards (November 29, 2018)

Best Health & Fitness Mobile App Platinum Award (Nominated)
Best Mobile App Awards (August 2018)

Lyfebulb and UnitedHealth Group Announce 11 Finalists for Their 2018 Innovation Challenge for Patient Entrepreneurs
Globe Newswire (June 28, 2018)

Press Highlights:

Five Enter the Shark Tank, One Emerges
MDEdge News (April 25, 2019)

The Oshi App: A New Way to Track Your Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms
Patient Worthy (February 14, 2019)

The Most Advanced Digital Healthcare Tools to Come in 2019
Everyday Health (January 30, 2019)

Top 10 Apps to Help You Manage Ulcerative Colitis
Health Central (November 2, 2018)

Our Trip to NYC + The Scoop on Oshi Health
Crohnically Blonde (Patient Advocate blog post – October 2018)

The Use of Mobile Applications in the Management of Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Gastroenterology & Hepatology (September 2018)

Free App Helps Adults Manage IBD
Health Tech Insider (June 28, 2018)

New App to Help IBD Patients Manage Their Symptoms
eHealth News ZA (June 7, 2018)

Digital health hires… “Daniel Weinstein has been appointed as CEO of Oshi Health”
MobiHealthNews (June 5, 2018)

Oshi Health Launches First All-in-One Mobile App to Allow IBD Patients Manage Their Conditions
WT | Wearable Technologies (June 4, 2018)

Oshi Health – an App Empowering IBD Patients
FlaredupFitness (Patient Advocate blog post — May 2018)

Help Manage Your IBD in the Palm of Your Hand
Lights Camera Crohn’s (Patient Advocate blog post — May 2018)

Oshi Health Launches All-in-One Mobile App for IBD Management
HIT Consultant Media (May 31, 2018)

Startup Oshi Health launches disease management platform for IBD patients
MobiHealthNews (May 31, 2018)

Press

Please contact Steve King (Head of Growth) at 833-GET-OSHI

Background Information:

Fact Sheet (PDF download )

Executive Summary (PDF download ⇩)

Press Releases:

Oshi Health Announces Expansion of Leadership Team as Firm Continues Rapid Growth – 19 December, 2018 (PDF download ⇩)

Oshi Health Expands #1 IBD Mobile App into Canada, Denmark, and the United Kingdom  – 6 December, 2018 (PDF download )

Oshi Health Launches First All-in-One Mobile App to Empower Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), including Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis – 30 May, 2018 (PDF download )

Honors: 

Best Native Mobile App, Consumer Disease-Focused Site (Silver Winner)
eHealthcare Leadership Award (November 2019)

ELITE 100, Entrepreneur: Dan Weinstein, CEO, Oshi Health
PM 360 ELITE (May 2019)

Gold Stevie Award Winner, Health App
Bronze Stevie Award Winner, Tech Startup of the Year – Software
American Business Awards 2019

Pitch Perfect Competition: Health IT Division (Finalist)
MedCity INVEST Conference (April 2019)

AGA Center for GI Innovation and Technology “Shark Tank” (Winner)
AGA Tech Summit – American Gastroenterological Association (April 2019)

Most Fundable Startup: Health 2.0 VentureConnect at HIMSS19 (Finalist)
Healthcare Information and Management Systems Society (HIMSS) Health 2.0 Annual Conference (February 2019)

Excellence in Health, Med & Biotech (Finalist)
11th Annual Media Excellence Awards (December 19, 2018)

Silver Award Winner: Oshi Health: the First All-in-One Mobile App to Empower Patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Digital Health Awards (November 29, 2018)

Best Health & Fitness Mobile App Platinum Award (Nominated)
Best Mobile App Awards (August 2018)

Lyfebulb and UnitedHealth Group Announce 11 Finalists for Their 2018 Innovation Challenge for Patient Entrepreneurs
Globe Newswire (June 28, 2018)

Press Highlights:

Five Enter the Shark Tank, One Emerges
MDEdge News (April 25, 2019)

The Oshi App: A New Way to Track Your Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms
Patient Worthy (February 14, 2019)

The Most Advanced Digital Healthcare Tools to Come in 2019
Everyday Health (January 30, 2019)

Top 10 Apps to Help You Manage Ulcerative Colitis
Health Central (November 2, 2018)

Our Trip to NYC + The Scoop on Oshi Health
Crohnically Blonde (Patient Advocate blog post – October 2018)

The Use of Mobile Applications in the Management of Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Gastroenterology & Hepatology (September 2018)

Free App Helps Adults Manage IBD
Health Tech Insider (June 28, 2018)

New App to Help IBD Patients Manage Their Symptoms
eHealth News ZA (June 7, 2018)

Digital health hires… “Daniel Weinstein has been appointed as CEO of Oshi Health”
MobiHealthNews (June 5, 2018)

Oshi Health Launches First All-in-One Mobile App to Allow IBD Patients Manage Their Conditions
WT | Wearable Technologies (June 4, 2018)

Oshi Health – an App Empowering IBD Patients
FlaredupFitness (Patient Advocate blog post — May 2018)

Help Manage Your IBD in the Palm of Your Hand
Lights Camera Crohn’s (Patient Advocate blog post — May 2018)

Oshi Health Launches All-in-One Mobile App for IBD Management
HIT Consultant Media (May 31, 2018)

Startup Oshi Health launches disease management platform for IBD patients
MobiHealthNews (May 31, 2018)

Monthly Newsletter

Every month, Oshi sends a themed newsletter highlighting new information about IBD, tracking tips and reminders plus some of the latest articles and patient questions. In addition, each newsletter features a guest editor who is either an IBD patient or professional. This editor shares their unique perspectives on important, real-world topics related to living your best life with IBD. So read past issues of the Oshi newsletter below. Then sign up for the mailing list to receive the latest highlights from Oshi directly in your inbox! https://mailchi.mp/oshihealth.com/rethink-how-you-cope-with-ibd-flares-nov-2019

November 2019: Be Prepared for Your Next Flare

September 2019: Oshi 1.7

July/August 2019: Oshi 1.6

June 2019: Summer

May 2019: World IBD Day

April 2019

March 2019: Spring

February 2019: Your Best Life

January 2019: Wellness

December 2018: Holidays

November 2018: Family

October 2018: Collaboration

September 2018: Empowerment

August 2018: Stress 

July 2018: The Launch Issue

Monthly Newsletters

Every month, Oshi sends a themed newsletter highlighting new information about IBD, tracking tips and reminders plus some of the latest articles and patient questions. In addition, each newsletter features a guest editor who is either an IBD patient or professional. This editor shares their unique perspectives on important, real-world topics related to living your best life with IBD. So read past issues of the Oshi newsletter below. Then sign up for the mailing list to receive the latest highlights from Oshi directly in your inbox!

November 2019: Be Prepared for Your Next Flare

September 2019: Oshi 1.7

July/August 2019: Oshi 1.6

June 2019: Summer

May 2019: World IBD Day

April 2019

March 2019: Spring

February 2019: Your Best Life

January 2019: Wellness

December 2018: Holidays

November 2018: Family

October 2018: Collaboration

September 2018: Empowerment

August 2018: Stress 

July 2018: The Launch Issue

Oshi is available for download on the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.


Oshi Mobile App

Oshi Health is the first all-in-one mobile app where you can Track, Learn, and Ask about inflammatory bowel disease.

We created the Oshi IBD Tracking App because every person with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) is different. Keeping track of lifestyle factors that may affect your IBD symptoms and wellness—and finding reliable information about the disease—is super-important, but it’s NOT easy. That’s where Oshi comes in!

The Oshi app is built on a foundation of scientific studies that incorporate digital innovations in IBD care.

Download Now

Oshi Health is the first all-in-one mobile app where you can Track, Learn, and Ask about inflammatory bowel disease.

We created the Oshi IBD Tracking App because every person with inflammatory bowel disease (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) is different. Keeping track of lifestyle factors that may affect your IBD symptoms and wellness—and finding reliable information about the disease—is super-important, but it’s NOT easy. That’s where Oshi comes in!

The Oshi app is built on a foundation of scientific studies that incorporate digital innovations in IBD care.

Download Now

TRACK

Oshi, the IBD Tracking App, helps you uncover hidden patterns to allow you to figure out what triggers your flares. Add your symptoms and actions to Oshi, plus automatically import data from popular fitness devices. Oshi also collects information about your disease severity and progression by asking you to complete either the Harvey-Bradshaw Index (HBI) score for Crohn’s disease, or the partial Mayo score for ulcerative colitis.

Patient Inputs for the Partial Mayo Score

This score is used to measure disease severity and progression in people with ulcerative colitis. For this UC score, Oshi is measuring two specific patient-reported outcomes:

1. Stool frequency—based on the past three days.

    • Normal number of stools = 0
    • 1-2 stools more than normal = 1
    • 3-4 stools more than normal = 2
    • 5 or more stools more than normal = 3

2. Rectal bleeding—based on the past three days.

    • No blood seen = 0
    • Streaks of blood with stool less than half the time = 1
    • Obvious blood with stool most of the time = 2
    • Blood alone passed = 3

Oshi is not collecting information related to the Physician’s Global Assessment. That information will be collected by a doctor during an in-office visit.

TRACK

Oshi, the IBD Tracking App, helps you uncover hidden patterns to allow you to figure out what triggers your flares. Add your symptoms and actions to Oshi, plus automatically import data from popular fitness devices. Oshi also collects information about your disease severity and progression by asking you to complete either the Harvey-Bradshaw Index (HBI) score for Crohn’s disease, or the partial Mayo score for ulcerative colitis.

Patient Inputs for the Partial Mayo Score

This score is used to measure disease severity and progression in people with ulcerative colitis. For this UC score, Oshi is measuring two specific patient-reported outcomes:

1. Stool frequency—based on the past three days.

    • Normal number of stools = 0
    • 1-2 stools more than normal = 1
    • 3-4 stools more than normal = 2
    • 5 or more stools more than normal = 3

2. Rectal bleeding—based on the past three days.

    • No blood seen = 0
    • Streaks of blood with stool less than half the time = 1
    • Obvious blood with stool most of the time = 2
    • Blood alone passed = 3

Oshi is not collecting information related to the Physician’s Global Assessment. That information will be collected by a doctor during an in-office visit.

Patient Inputs for the Harvey Bradshaw Index Score

The HBI score is used to measure disease severity and progression in people with Crohn’s disease. For this score, Oshi is collecting three pieces of patient-reported information.

1. Patient’s well-being—from the previous day
(0 = very well, 1 = slightly below par, 2 = poor, 3 = very poor, 4 = terrible)

2. Patient’s abdominal pain—from the previous day
(0 = none, 1 = mild, 2 = moderate, 3 = severe)

3. The number of liquid or soft stools per day—from the previous day

(Score 1 per movement)

Oshi is not collecting information about whether or not you have an abdominal mass, nor are we collecting data about whether or not you have additional complications. Your doctor will collect this information themselves during an in-office visit.

Patient Inputs for the Harvey Bradshaw Index Score

The HBI score is used to measure disease severity and progression in people with Crohn’s disease. For this score, Oshi is collecting three pieces of patient-reported information.

1. Patient’s well-being—from the previous day
(0 = very well, 1 = slightly below par, 2 = poor, 3 = very poor, 4 = terrible)

2. Patient’s abdominal pain—from the previous day
(0 = none, 1 = mild, 2 = moderate, 3 = severe)

3. The number of liquid or soft stools per day—from the previous day

(Score 1 per movement)

Oshi is not collecting information about whether or not you have an abdominal mass, nor are we collecting data about whether or not you have additional complications. Your doctor will collect this information themselves during an in-office visit.

Why Are We Collecting These Patient-Reported Outcomes?

Even though the information we’re collecting for the HBI and pMayo scores are incomplete, it can still help you and your doctor by:

  • Providing an objective look into your disease activity and trends over time—which is a key piece of information that’s difficult to convey during time-crunched doctor’s appointments
  • Unlocking information about your disease activity that may help you better self-manage your condition (e.g., leading you to make lifestyle changes that could positively influence your symptoms)
  • Offering important data on whether or not your symptoms are worsening; which may lead you to schedule an appointment sooner

You should bring this data to your next doctor appointment and use it to start a conversation about the status of your health condition.

Why Are We Collecting These Patient-Reported Outcomes?

Even though the information we’re collecting for the HBI and pMayo scores are incomplete, it can still help you and your doctor by:

  • Providing an objective look into your disease activity and trends over time—which is a key piece of information that’s difficult to convey during time-crunched doctor’s appointments
  • Unlocking information about your disease activity that may help you better self-manage your condition (e.g., leading you to make lifestyle changes that could positively influence your symptoms)
  • Offering important data on whether or not your symptoms are worsening; which may lead you to schedule an appointment sooner

You should bring this data to your next doctor appointment and use it to start a conversation about the status of your health condition.

TRACK

Oshi, the IBD Tracking App, helps you uncover hidden patterns to allow you to figure out what triggers your flares. Add your symptoms and actions to Oshi, plus automatically import data from popular fitness devices. Oshi will then provide your own personalized Wellness and Symptom Scores for a comprehensive view of your well-being. Working with your doctor, Oshi can help you gain new insights for treating and managing your IBD.

Your Own Personalized Oshi Wellness Score
Everything you TRACK in Oshi matters—including the information you import from other devices and apps, like activity trackers. Oshi uses all that tracking data to calculate your own personalized Wellness Score.
This is the very first score of its kind for people with IBD. It actually has the power to help you uncover hidden patterns that might be triggering your flares. That’s why we’re so excited about this powerful tool that can help you live your best life with IBD!

TRACK

Oshi, the IBD Tracking App, helps you uncover hidden patterns to allow you to figure out what triggers your flares. Add your symptoms and actions to Oshi, plus automatically import data from popular fitness devices. Oshi will then provide your own personalized Wellness and Symptom Scores for a comprehensive view of your well-being. Working with your doctor, Oshi can help you gain new insights for treating and managing your IBD.

Your Own Personalized Oshi Wellness Score
Everything you TRACK in Oshi matters—including the information you import from other devices and apps, like activity trackers. Oshi uses all that tracking data to calculate your own personalized Wellness Score.

This is the very first score of its kind for people with IBD. It actually has the power to help you uncover hidden patterns that might be triggering your flares. That’s why we’re so excited about this powerful tool that can help you live your best life with IBD!

4 Factors Being Tracked

Your Wellness Score gets calculated in “real time.” So every time you enter more data (manually or via a connected device), your score automatically gets updated.

To calculate your Wellness Score, Oshi uses seven days’ worth of tracking input about your:

  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Activity/Exercise

Oshi tracks these four categories because they’re the factors that people with IBD believe make the biggest difference when it comes to triggering IBD symptoms.

Naturally, the more you track, the more helpful Oshi can be. We recommend tracking every day, multiple times a day. (Oshi knows to use the latest data from each day when it’s calculating your Wellness Score.)

4 Factors Being Tracked

Your Wellness Score gets calculated in “real time.” So every time you enter more data (manually or via a connected device), your score automatically gets updated.

To calculate your Wellness Score, Oshi uses seven days’ worth of tracking input about your:

  • Stress
  • Diet
  • Sleep
  • Activity/Exercise

Oshi tracks these four categories because they’re the factors that people with IBD believe make the biggest difference when it comes to triggering IBD symptoms.

Naturally, the more you track, the more helpful Oshi can be. We recommend tracking every day, multiple times a day. (Oshi knows to use the latest data from each day when it’s calculating your Wellness Score.)

Understanding the Score

Each of the four categories that you track will contribute between 0 and 25 points toward your Wellness Score. When you add up the points for each category, you get your overall score, with the highest possible score being 100.

Some things you track will contribute positive points toward your Well-Being Score, like getting a good night’s sleep. Other actions will deduct points, like feeling really stressed.

Of course, we didn’t randomly assign points in Oshi. Instead, we worked with our team of physician-partners who are experts in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis).

Together, we came up with an optimal range for each area being tracked. For example: Getting a good night’s sleep will contribute 25 points toward your score. But getting an excessive amount of sleep will actually cause some points to be deducted from your score.

A Great Score

A Great score means your tracking inputs were in this range:

Stress: 0 to 33.Oshi’s unique sliding scale allows you to rate your stress level at any number between 0 and 100. As long as your stress level rating inputs are between 0 and 33, you’ll get a high score for Stress.

Diet: Nothing off-plan. You’ve told Oshi which foods you are avoiding, so as long as you actually do avoid all of those foods, you’ll get a high score for Diet.

Sleep: 7 to 8 hours. Oshi’s physician-partners recommend getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.

Activity/Exercise: At least 300 calories burned. Numerous studies have concluded that we should try to burn 300 calories or more each day.

A Below Average Score

A Below Average score means your tracking inputs were in this range:

Stress: 67 to 100. Stress tends to be a trigger for IBD and a wide variety of other diseases, so Oshi will remind you that you’ve been really stressed.

Diet: More than 50% off-plan. You’ve been eating a whole lot of the foods you said you need to avoid, which probably means you aren’t feeling so great. This also makes it really hard to detect which of those foods could be triggering your symptoms.

Sleep: Less than 5 hours OR greater than 12 hours. According to Oshi’s physician-partners, sleeping too little—and also sleeping too much—can both be signs of trouble.

Activity/Exercise: Less than 100 calories burned. A sedentary lifestyle can impact symptoms.

Once again: The more you track, the more Oshi can help. So let’s work together to help you feel better!

Understanding the Score

Each of the four categories that you track will contribute between 0 and 25 points toward your Wellness Score. When you add up the points for each category, you get your overall score, with the highest possible score being 100.

Some things you track will contribute positive points toward your Well-Being Score, like getting a good night’s sleep. Other actions will deduct points, like feeling really stressed.

Of course, we didn’t randomly assign points in Oshi. Instead, we worked with our team of physician-partners who are experts in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis).

Together, we came up with an optimal range for each area being tracked. For example: Getting a good night’s sleep will contribute 25 points toward your score. But getting an excessive amount of sleep will actually cause some points to be deducted from your score.

A Great Score

A Great score means your tracking inputs were in this range:

Stress: 0 to 33. Oshi’s unique sliding scale allows you to rate your stress level at any number between 0 and 100. As long as your stress level rating inputs are between 0 and 33, you’ll get a high score for Stress.

Diet: Nothing off-plan. You’ve told Oshi which foods you are avoiding, so as long as you actually do avoid all of those foods, you’ll get a high score for Diet.

Sleep: 7 to 8 hours. Oshi’s physician-partners recommend getting 7 to 8 hours of sleep each night.

Activity/Exercise: At least 300 calories burned. Numerous studies have concluded that we should try to burn 300 calories or more each day.

A Below Average Score

A Below Average score means your tracking inputs were in this range:

Stress: 67 to 100. Stress tends to be a trigger for IBD and a wide variety of other diseases, so Oshi will remind you that you’ve been really stressed.

Diet: More than 50% off-plan. You’ve been eating a whole lot of the foods you said you need to avoid, which probably means you aren’t feeling so great. This also makes it really hard to detect which of those foods could be triggering your symptoms.

Sleep: Less than 5 hours OR greater than 12 hours. According to Oshi’s physician-partners, sleeping too little—and also sleeping too much—can both be signs of trouble.

Activity/Exercise: Less than 100 calories burned. A sedentary lifestyle can impact symptoms.

Once again: The more you track, the more Oshi can help. So let’s work together to help you feel better!

LEARN

Oshi includes a magazine’s worth of thoughtfully curated content personalized to your interests. You’ll discover information on emerging treatments and new discoveries, plus diet and nutrition advice with IBD-friendly recipes. You’ll also find inspiration from our team of patient-advocates sharing insights from every stage of their personal journeys. Read a sampling of recent articles in Oshi.

LEARN

Oshi includes a magazine’s worth of thoughtfully curated content personalized to your interests. You’ll discover information on emerging treatments and new discoveries, plus diet and nutrition advice with IBD-friendly recipes. You’ll also find inspiration from our team of patient-advocates sharing insights from every stage of their personal journeys. Read a sampling of recent articles in Oshi.

ASK

Have a question about anything from symptoms to supplements?

Our gastroenterologists and health professionals provide answers and address your IBD concerns. Oshi experts also share tips, from choosing the right doctor to improving your chances of remission.

ASK

Have a question about anything from symptoms to supplements?

Our gastroenterologists and health professionals provide answers and address your IBD concerns. Oshi experts also share tips, from choosing the right doctor to improving your chances of remission.

Our goal is to provide you with the best-available digital platform to help you manage and control IBD. We are always working to improve Oshi, and we want to hear from you!

Please contact us with comments or suggestions.

Oshi is available for download on the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.

Our goal is to provide you with the best-available digital platform to help you manage and control IBD. We are always working to improve Oshi, and we want to hear from you!

Please contact us with comments or suggestions.

Oshi is available for download on the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.


Understanding IBD

More than 3 million people in the U.S. are living with IBD (about 11 million people worldwide) and the disease’s prevalence continues to grow.

Every person with IBD is different in so many ways, including their specific diagnosis, disease severity, and disease location in the GI system. IBD also affects their quality of life and ability to work, go to school, take care of children, and more. The articles below — and many more IBD Articles — are available in the Oshi app.

Oshi is available for download on the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.

Download Oshi on the Apple app store to learn about IBD symptoms, treatments and moreDownload Oshi on the Google Play store to learn about IBD symptoms, treatments and more

Jenna Pettit, IBD Warrior, shows off the Oshi IBD tracking app on her smartphone

More than 3 million people in the U.S. are living with IBD (about 11 million people worldwide) and the disease’s prevalence continues to grow.

Every person with IBD is different in so many ways, including their specific diagnosis, disease severity, and disease location in the GI system. IBD also affects their quality of life and ability to work, go to school, take care of children, and more. The articles below — and many more IBD Articles — are available in the Oshi app.

Oshi is available for download on the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.

Download Oshi on the Apple app store to learn about IBD symptoms, treatments and moreDownload Oshi on the Google Play store to learn about IBD symptoms, treatments and more

Jenna Pettit, IBD Warrior, shows off the Oshi IBD tracking app on her smartphone

WHAT IS IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) manifests itself differently in everyone who lives with it, and its many potential issues can be hard to understand for those who don’t. Here’s a cheat sheet on what IBD is—for you and for anyone who’s been peppering you with questions.

WHAT IS IBD?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) manifests itself differently in everyone who lives with it, and its many potential issues can be hard to understand for those who don’t. Here’s a cheat sheet on what IBD is—for you and for anyone who’s been peppering you with questions.

What Exactly Is IBD, Anyway?

IBD is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the intestines. Depending on the site involved and the degree of inflammation, an individual with IBD will have a characteristic set of symptoms and possible complications. There are two major types of IBD: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC).

What’s the Difference Between Crohn’s and UC?

Ulcerative colitis is limited to the lining of the colon, where it causes inflammation and sores (ulcers). Crohn’s disease can cause inflammation in the full thickness of the wall of the intestine and along the entire digestive tract. However, Crohn’s usually manifests in the small intestine or colon.

What Are the Symptoms of IBD?

People with IBD may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, blood in their stool, constipation, fatigue, trouble sleeping, weight loss, dehydration, and nutrient deficiencies. When symptoms are present, a person is considered to be having a flare-up or flare.

What Causes IBD?

Researchers are still working to discover the cause (or causes) of IBD, which may differ depending on the individual and the type of IBD. In some people, IBD may be caused by their body’s immune system attacking its own intestinal tissue, leading to inflammation, although this theory hasn’t been proven. Other possible causes include an imbalance of bacteria in the gut microbiome, or a variety of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

How Is IBD Diagnosed?

To diagnose gastrointestinal symptoms, your primary care physician or gastroenterologist may run a series of tests to determine if you’re experiencing anemia, an infection, or blood in the stool. Additionally, a colonoscopy, endoscopy, or enteroscopy may be performed to examine the tissues in your intestines. Imaging procedures, such as CT scans and MRIs, also may be ordered to get a full picture of your digestive tract. Your doctor will use all of this information to determine if you have IBD, and if so, where it’s manifesting and what type it is.

What Exactly Is IBD, Anyway?

IBD is a chronic inflammatory disorder that affects the intestines. Depending on the site involved and the degree of inflammation, an individual with IBD will have a characteristic set of symptoms and possible complications. There are two major types of IBD: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC).

What’s the Difference Between Crohn’s and UC?

Ulcerative colitis is limited to the lining of the colon, where it causes inflammation and sores (ulcers). Crohn’s disease can cause inflammation in the full thickness of the wall of the intestine and along the entire digestive tract. However, Crohn’s usually manifests in the small intestine or colon.

What Are the Symptoms of IBD?

People with IBD may experience diarrhea, abdominal pain, fever, blood in their stool, constipation, fatigue, trouble sleeping, weight loss, dehydration, and nutrient deficiencies. When symptoms are present, a person is considered to be having a flare-up or flare.

What Causes IBD?

Researchers are still working to discover the cause (or causes) of IBD, which may differ depending on the individual and the type of IBD. In some people, IBD may be caused by their body’s immune system attacking its own intestinal tissue, leading to inflammation, although this theory hasn’t been proven. Other possible causes include an imbalance of bacteria in the gut microbiome, or a variety of genetic, environmental, and lifestyle factors.

How Is IBD Diagnosed?

To diagnose gastrointestinal symptoms, your primary care physician or gastroenterologist may run a series of tests to determine if you’re experiencing anemia, an infection, or blood in the stool. Additionally, a colonoscopy, endoscopy, or enteroscopy may be performed to examine the tissues in your intestines. Imaging procedures, such as CT scans and MRIs, also may be ordered to get a full picture of your digestive tract. Your doctor will use all of this information to determine if you have IBD, and if so, where it’s manifesting and what type it is.

What Are Some Other Ways to Cope?

Finding a support network or online group of fellow IBD warriors may be helpful. Non-profit organizations for patient support and education like the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation are an excellent resource. Educating yourself about the disease also may prove beneficial for your own peace of mind.

Tracking your symptoms—along with diet, sleep, exercise, and stress levels—also has helped to empower a lot of people with IBD to better manage their quality of life and reduce flares.

How Many People Have IBD?

If you’re living with IBD, you’re not alone: An estimated 3 million people in the U.S. reported being diagnosed with IBD in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Is There a Cure for IBD?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for IBD—at least, not yet—but medical treatments, lifestyle changes, and complementary therapies have helped many IBD warriors soothe their symptoms and even reach a stage where they’re no longer experiencing flares, which is generally considered being “in remission.”

What Are Some Other Ways to Cope?

Finding a support network or online group of fellow IBD warriors may be helpful. Non-profit organizations for patient support and education like the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation are an excellent resource. Educating yourself about the disease also may prove beneficial for your own peace of mind.

Tracking your symptoms—along with diet, sleep, exercise, and stress levels—also has helped to empower a lot of people with IBD to better manage their quality of life and reduce flares.

How Many People Have IBD?

If you’re living with IBD, you’re not alone: An estimated 3 million people in the U.S. reported being diagnosed with IBD in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Is There a Cure for IBD?

Unfortunately, there isn’t a cure for IBD—at least, not yet—but medical treatments, lifestyle changes, and complementary therapies have helped many IBD warriors soothe their symptoms and even reach a stage where they’re no longer experiencing flares, which is generally considered being “in remission.”

IBD vs IBS

Know the Difference

Lots of people get confused when it comes to IBS and IBD. Not only do they sound similar, but they have a lot of similar symptoms. People with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) typically experience abdominal pain and a variety of related gastrointestinal issues, as do people with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis). To help make it easier to understand the similarities and differences between the two, we’ve put together this handy compare-and-contrast guide.

IBD vs IBS

Know the Difference

Lots of people get confused when it comes to IBS and IBD. Not only do they sound similar, but they have a lot of similar symptoms. People with IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) typically experience abdominal pain and a variety of related gastrointestinal issues, as do people with IBD (inflammatory bowel disease, which includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis). To help make it easier to understand the similarities and differences between the two, we’ve put together this handy compare-and-contrast guide.

Symptoms

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Many IBS sufferers experience recurring symptoms, including a combination of cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and/or abdominal pain and bloating. They may also have food intolerances, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: People with IBD may experience ALL of the symptoms related to IBS. The biggest difference between the two, symptom-wise, is that people with IBD may also have fever, blood in their stool, reduced appetite with nausea and/or vomiting, and weight loss.

Symptoms

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Many IBS sufferers experience recurring symptoms, including a combination of cramps, diarrhea, constipation, and/or abdominal pain and bloating. They may also have food intolerances, fatigue, anxiety, and depression.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: People with IBD may experience ALL of the symptoms related to IBS. The biggest difference between the two, symptom-wise, is that people with IBD may also have fever, blood in their stool, reduced appetite with nausea and/or vomiting, and weight loss.

Causes

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: We do not yet know what causes IBS, but an international survey of 40,000 people concluded the condition may be triggered by stress in some form or another. Most (but not all) IBS sufferers are women: IBS is about 1.5 to 3 times more prevalent in women compared with men, and some experts theorize that the condition may be triggered by hormonal changes.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: As with IBS, experts haven’t figured out what causes IBD. Some possibilities include genetic or hereditary factors, the makeup of bacteria in the digestive system, cigarette smoking, and environmental factors.

Causes

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: We do not yet know what causes IBS, but an international survey of 40,000 people concluded the condition may be triggered by stress in some form or another. Most (but not all) IBS sufferers are women: IBS is about 1.5 to 3 times more prevalent in women compared with men, and some experts theorize that the condition may be triggered by hormonal changes.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: As with IBS, experts haven’t figured out what causes IBD. Some possibilities include genetic or hereditary factors, the makeup of bacteria in the digestive system, cigarette smoking, and environmental factors.

Diagnosis

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: IBS is often diagnosed by examining your medical history and by blood tests and stool inspection. Doctors may want to exclude other GI conditions that present in the same way.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Doctors often diagnose IBD by performing a colonoscopy and possibly an upper endoscopy, as well as ordering blood tests and special X-rays or MRIs.

Diagnosis

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: IBS is often diagnosed by examining your medical history and by blood tests and stool inspection. Doctors may want to exclude other GI conditions that present in the same way.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Doctors often diagnose IBD by performing a colonoscopy and possibly an upper endoscopy, as well as ordering blood tests and special X-rays or MRIs.

Severity

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Although IBS is not considered as debilitating as IBD, the psychological and physical reactions can take a serious toll on quality of life. As such, treatment is often considered necessary to address the symptoms of IBS.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: IBD is considered a chronic autoimmune disease. Depending on its severity, it can significantly limit quality of life and interfere with social activities, as well as school and work. While IBD itself is not considered fatal, it can result in systemic illnesses, such as anemia and nutrient deficiencies, and can lead to serious complications like infections and even colon cancer.

Severity

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Although IBS is not considered as debilitating as IBD, the psychological and physical reactions can take a serious toll on quality of life. As such, treatment is often considered necessary to address the symptoms of IBS.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: IBD is considered a chronic autoimmune disease. Depending on its severity, it can significantly limit quality of life and interfere with social activities, as well as school and work. While IBD itself is not considered fatal, it can result in systemic illnesses, such as anemia and nutrient deficiencies, and can lead to serious complications like infections and even colon cancer.

Treatment

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Treatment for IBS can range from making dietary and lifestyle changes to taking prescription medications aimed at managing bowel activity and nerves.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: The wide array of treatment options for those who suffer from IBD include lifestyle changes, dietary changes, Western medical treatments (ranging from corticosteroids and other medications to target the immune system to surgery), as well as alternative and complementary medical treatments.

Treatment

Irritable Bowel Syndrome: Treatment for IBS can range from making dietary and lifestyle changes to taking prescription medications aimed at managing bowel activity and nerves.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: The wide array of treatment options for those who suffer from IBD include lifestyle changes, dietary changes, Western medical treatments (ranging from corticosteroids and other medications to target the immune system to surgery), as well as alternative and complementary medical treatments.

INDIVIDUALIZED CARE

Everybody with IBD is Different

If you have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you likely have a unique set of symptoms and issues as a result of where the inflammation manifests in your intestines and how your body reacts to this inflammation. The IBDs are complex disorders that are different in every affected individual; no two people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are the same.

INDIVIDUALIZED CARE

Everybody with IBD is Different

If you have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you likely have a unique set of symptoms and issues as a result of where the inflammation manifests in your intestines and how your body reacts to this inflammation. The IBDs are complex disorders that are different in every affected individual; no two people with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are the same.

For example, Crohn’s disease may be located in the small intestine, colon, or a combination of both, and it may be one of three different types: one that causes just inflammation, one that causes strictures or narrowing in the intestine, or one that causes fistulas (or connections) between the intestine and other parts of the body, like out to the skin.

To complicate matters more, even people with the same type and location of IBD may have different symptoms due to their differences in pain tolerance, differing responses to medications, and the presence of other symptoms associated with IBD, such as joint pain.

Fortunately, in recent years, the healthcare provider community has begun to embrace the concept of “individualized care,” and it is now gaining momentum among specialists who treat IBD. Many of these physicians now acknowledge that all facets of a person’s disease and how it affects them have to be considered when deciding on the optimal treatment plan.

For example, Crohn’s disease may be located in the small intestine, colon, or a combination of both, and it may be one of three different types: one that causes just inflammation, one that causes strictures or narrowing in the intestine, or one that causes fistulas (or connections) between the intestine and other parts of the body, like out to the skin.

To complicate matters more, even people with the same type and location of IBD may have different symptoms due to their differences in pain tolerance, differing responses to medications, and the presence of other symptoms associated with IBD, such as joint pain.

Fortunately, in recent years, the healthcare provider community has begun to embrace the concept of “individualized care,” and it is now gaining momentum among specialists who treat IBD. Many of these physicians now acknowledge that all facets of a person’s disease and how it affects them have to be considered when deciding on the optimal treatment plan.

Individualized Care in Action

Here’s an example of how individualized care might look: Let’s say two patients with Crohn’s disease walk into an IBD clinic to see the doctor. They may have both been diagnosed with the same disease, but it looks and feels different for each one of them.

Individualized Care in Action

Here’s an example of how individualized care might look: Let’s say two patients with Crohn’s disease walk into an IBD clinic to see the doctor. They may have both been diagnosed with the same disease, but it looks and feels different for each one of them.

The first individual has intermittent loose stools and abdominal cramping, while the second person has those symptoms plus abdominal pain around the belly button area, occasional nausea, and weight loss. The first person is able to work and take care of her family, while the second has had to take time away from his school and is not eating or sleeping well. The doctor’s diagnostic workup reveals differences in terms of where the disease is located in each person, too.

So now, the doctor can take all of that information into account and also factor in how the disease affects each individual’s overall well-being. Based on all of this information, the first patient is prescribed an oral topical steroid medication called Budesonide, while the second is treated with a biologic, as well as the systemic steroid Prednisone and a modified diet.

The first individual has intermittent loose stools and abdominal cramping, while the second person has those symptoms plus abdominal pain around the belly button area, occasional nausea, and weight loss. The first person is able to work and take care of her family, while the second has had to take time away from his school and is not eating or sleeping well. The doctor’s diagnostic workup reveals differences in terms of where the disease is located in each person, too.

So now, the doctor can take all of that information into account and also factor in how the disease affects each individual’s overall well-being. Based on all of this information, the first patient is prescribed an oral topical steroid medication called Budesonide, while the second is treated with a biologic, as well as the systemic steroid Prednisone and a modified diet.

Beware of “Dr. Google”

The fact that no two people with IBD are alike is important to keep in mind whenever you’re searching the Internet for information. If you are one of the millions of people who search “Dr. Google” on a regular basis, remember that search engines are limited by the information you input to start your search, and they don’t necessarily know whether or not sites are credible and correspond to your specific disease.

In addition, a search for something like “Crohn’s disease” and “abdominal pain” will likely result in a slew of information that does not necessarily correspond to your unique body. You may receive advice on anti-inflammatory medications or diets or probiotics that would be great for someone else with Crohn’s disease, but not for you.

Beware of “Dr. Google”

The fact that no two people with IBD are alike is important to keep in mind whenever you’re searching the Internet for information. If you are one of the millions of people who search “Dr. Google” on a regular basis, remember that search engines are limited by the information you input to start your search, and they don’t necessarily know whether or not sites are credible and correspond to your specific disease.

In addition, a search for something like “Crohn’s disease” and “abdominal pain” will likely result in a slew of information that does not necessarily correspond to your unique body. You may receive advice on anti-inflammatory medications or diets or probiotics that would be great for someone else with Crohn’s disease, but not for you.

Individualizing Your Treatment Plan

Fortunately, individualized care is rapidly becoming the accepted way to treat IBD. You may want to speak with your healthcare providers to ensure your treatment plan has been custom-tailored for you—and to make sure it’s up-to-date based on the latest information about your symptoms, how these symptoms are affecting you on a day-to-day basis, and the disease characteristics discovered by your physician on diagnostic workup.

When a doctor asks a lot of questions about your various symptoms, take the time to explain what is ongoing—and, if this is a return visit, be sure to share what has changed since your last visit. To round out your care, make sure to discuss how the disease affects you on a daily basis in terms of sleep, exercise, relaxation, and the ability to work or go to school or take care of family.

Next, your doctor may order a series of tests to learn more about what type of IBD you have.

It is important to discuss with your doctor all the aspects that characterize your IBD for a greater understanding of your specific disease. For example, you may want to ask:

  • Where your inflammation is located (small intestine vs. colon, where in the colon?)
  • How severe it is (mild, moderate, or severe)
  • Whether or not it is thought to be in remission

Based on all this information, your doctor will be able to discuss treatment options with you, such as anti-inflammatories, medications that modulate the immune system, or biologic medications, or a combination of these. In the individualized care model, doctors also will take into consideration your preferences based on medications’ safety profiles, side effects, and mode of delivery (such as pills vs. injections vs. infusions).

Using all the information that is unique to you, the doctor also will be able to prescribe a diet that is right for you, keeping in mind that this may change through the course of the disease. The doctor also will reinforce with you the need for rest, exercise, and relaxation.

This kind of individualized plan of care will likely be the fastest and safest approach to get you feeling well again and to get your IBD into remission.

Individualizing Your Treatment Plan

Fortunately, individualized care is rapidly becoming the accepted way to treat IBD. You may want to speak with your healthcare providers to ensure your treatment plan has been custom-tailored for you—and to make sure it’s up-to-date based on the latest information about your symptoms, how these symptoms are affecting you on a day-to-day basis, and the disease characteristics discovered by your physician on diagnostic workup.

When a doctor asks a lot of questions about your various symptoms, take the time to explain what is ongoing—and, if this is a return visit, be sure to share what has changed since your last visit. To round out your care, make sure to discuss how the disease affects you on a daily basis in terms of sleep, exercise, relaxation, and the ability to work or go to school or take care of family.

Next, your doctor may order a series of tests to learn more about what type of IBD you have.

It is important to discuss with your doctor all the aspects that characterize your IBD for a greater understanding of your specific disease. For example, you may want to ask:

  • Where your inflammation is located (small intestine vs. colon, where in the colon?)
  • How severe it is (mild, moderate, or severe)
  • Whether or not it is thought to be in remission

Based on all this information, your doctor will be able to discuss treatment options with you, such as anti-inflammatories, medications that modulate the immune system, or biologic medications, or a combination of these. In the individualized care model, doctors also will take into consideration your preferences based on medications’ safety profiles, side effects, and mode of delivery (such as pills vs. injections vs. infusions).

Using all the information that is unique to you, the doctor also will be able to prescribe a diet that is right for you, keeping in mind that this may change through the course of the disease. The doctor also will reinforce with you the need for rest, exercise, and relaxation.

This kind of individualized plan of care will likely be the fastest and safest approach to get you feeling well again and to get your IBD into remission.

Oshi is available for download on the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.


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Live Your Best Life with the Oshi Health IBD tracking app!

Everybody with inflammatory bowel disease is different. That’s why we created Oshi: a brand-new all-in-one app that’s designed to help you — and your unique body — navigate life with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Download Now

Live Your Best Life with the Oshi Health IBD tracking app!

Everybody with inflammatory bowel disease is different. That’s why we created Oshi: a brand-new all-in-one app that’s designed to help you — and your unique body — navigate life with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

Download Now

Meet Oshi Health at the following conferences and events:

Digestive Disease Week | Booth #3322

Digestive Disease Week | Shark Tank Pitch Competition

The Oshi app is built on a foundation of scientific studies that incorporate digital innovations in IBD care.

59,898

App Downloads

200

IBD Articles

266

Patient Questions Answered

150,596

Patient Outcomes Measured

35,328

Articles Read

415,821

Data Points Collected

Oshi Health inflammatory bowel disease tracking app users around the globe

Oshi Users Span the Globe

People around the world with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis use the Oshi Health mobile app to help manage their IBD symptoms.

Fits in Your Life and Your Pocket

Download Oshi, the free inflammatory bowel disease mobile app!
Now available in the US, UK, Canada, and Denmark in the Apple App Store or Android Google Play.

Praise for Oshi

Praise for Oshi

Dan Weinstein, Oshi Health CEO, is named to the PM360 Elite 100, The 100 Most Influential People in the Healthcare Industry. The Elite 100 is a group of individuals and marketing teams who have made a significant impact on the healthcare industry throughout their careers.

See Dan's PM 360 Profile

Dan Weinstein, Oshi Health CEO, is named to the PM360 Elite 100, The 100 Most Influential People in the Healthcare Industry. The Elite 100 is a group of individuals and marketing teams who have made a significant impact on the healthcare industry throughout their careers.

See Dan's PM 360 Profile

PM360 Trailblazer Awards

Best App (Finalist), August 2019

Oshi Health 2019 Golden Stevie Winner, American Business Awards

American Business Award

Health App: Gold Stevie, 2019

2019 AGA Shark Tank Winner is Oshi Health

AGA Tech Summit "Shark Tank"

Shark Tank Winner, April 2019

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