Cannabis Crohn's Disease DIAGNOSIS Stories STORIES-OF-HOPE Ulcerative Colitis

Celebrities with Crohn’s

Samantha Irby is an American comedian, author, and blogger. As an IBD patient advocate, she wrote “I’ve Been Battling Chronic Illness For Years. Why Won’t Doctors Just Believe Me?” for Elle Magazine which is an excerpt from the book Believe Me: How Trusting Women Can Change the World by Jessica Valenti and, Jaclyn Friedman. To get an idea of her style of writing, this is pulled from that article: I am in a ridiculous amount of pain (like, childbirth pain), which is typically followed by a torrent of bloody shit (and much humiliated apologizing to whomever I happen to be hanging out with at the time). Years of this gnarly in-fighting (think Capulets and Montagues, Israel and Palestine, Biggie and Tupac) have left my intestines a veritable wasteland of scar tissue. Well said Samantha, well said. Samantha created the blog bitches gotta eat, where she writes posts about her personal life and shares the ups and downs of living with Crohn’s, Colitis. Arthritis and Depression. Formerly she co-hosted the show Guts and Glory. Samanta is married to Kirsten Jennings. She’s published three books,  highly acclaimed and New York Times best selling We Are Never Meeting in Real Life, also  Meaty, and New Year, Same Trash: Resolutions I Absolutely Did Not Keep (A Vintage Short)During one of her cross-country tours, she proudly shit in every airport from Boston Logan International Airport to LAX Los Angeles International.  In March 2020 she will be releasing Wow, No Thank You.: Essays.

shannen doherty one great gut joel sprechman crohns disease

Paddy Cunningham is a Gaelic footballer from County Antrim, Northern Ireland.  He went to college at University of Ulster’s Jordanstown and rose to become Antrim’s football captain. Paddy announced his battle with Crohn’s in 2011, two years after captaining Antrim to their first Ulster final in 39 years. “The way I have addressed it my whole life is to be as positive as possible. I think that has worked for me by and large so far. He states,  “I don’t like to dwell on things or feel sorry for myself. I don’t think it has done me any harm. It’s about staying as positive as possible. I am very lucky, I have Claire and the kids, they give me massive support as well. So I keep going.

Laina Marshall is the wife of an American politician and physician Dr. Roger Marshall, Congressman for Kansas’ Big 1st District. As of 2020 Laina and Roger have been married for 36 years, are the parents of four children, and have two grandchildren. Laina was diagnosed with Crohn’s when she was pregnant with their second child.

Jack Leach is an English Cricketer born in Taunton England. He graduated from Somerset County Cricket Club Academy and represented Dorset County Cricket Club in the Minor Counties Cricket Championship. At the age of 14, he was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease and he continues to play internationally around the world. In 2020 fell ill on tour. His England coach Chris Silverwood said: “Jack is a great lad to have around the squad and his infectious personality will be missed. However, his focus has to be getting himself better and receiving the optimum levels of recovery and treatment, which is best served back in England. I have no doubt that he will return to full fitness in the medium-term and hopefully in time for our tour of Sri Lanka in March.”

Amy Dowden – Amy was the runner-up on British television dance contest show Strictly Come Dancing. She is a Welsh dancer who refused to let Crohn’s Disease hold her back. She was diagnosed at age 19 and was diagnosed for six weeks. Her symptoms started at age 11. Her show Strictly Amy: Crohns And Me and it will air on BBC One Wales in 2020.

Shannen Doherty – Hollywood Actress, Director, and Producer.  At the age of 19, she was cast in the popular long-running series Beverly Hills 90210.  In 2006 She Ranked #5 among 100 Greatest Teen Stars. She also starred in Charmed, the thriller Almost Dead,  the comedy Mallrats (1995), and posed in Playboy magazine. For most of her life, she has been quiet about her Crohn’s Disease. She is allergic to wool, and chocolate. Her hobbies include horseback riding, playing video games, cooking, and playing the guitar. In March 2015 she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She is a cancer warrior, published author, animal lover, and activist.

Jacinta Parsons – Jacinta is a radio presenter who was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at age 22. After the birth of her daughter, she realized she had to change. She resolved to stop letting fear rule, to accept her illness, and ask, “What will I do now?”. She decided to pursue her dream to get into radio and after voluntering and then paid shifts she spent two years c0-hosted the breakfast slot on ABC Radio Melbourne. She is now  ABC Afternoons presenter.

Ethan Stremmel – Ethan is 8 years old and plays ice hockey, baseball, basketball and street hockey in his driveway. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 2016 at the age of four. In 2019 he had surgery to have 10cm removed due to a stricture. He plays  Ethan says “His stomach sometimes hurts”. According to reporters Alexis Gorenstein and Maryellen Pann, Ethan knows that he will always have to listen extra closely to his body.

Seantrel Henderson One Great Gut joel sprechman crohn's disease crohns

Seantrel Henderson  – Professional football player in the National Football Foundation playing for the Buffalo Bills was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease in 2015. He missed the final games of last season, ended up dropping 20 pounds, was hospitalized and had two surgeries in the offseason. In 2016 Seantrel was suspended four games without pay for using Marijuana to mitigate his Crohn’s Disease symptoms.

Mary Ellen Pann – Mary Ellen is the Chief Meteorologist at a news station in York Pennsylvania.  She serves York, Harrisburg, and Lancaster, Pennsylvania. She graduated with a Certificate of Meteorology from Mississippi State University and is a  “midwest girl” originally from Dayton, Ohio.  She was diagnosed in 1982 at age 17. She says sleep is very very important and being positive is key, as is listening to your body and being proactive. She loves golf, running, the gym and reading. Her favorite time of the year is the fall.


Matt Light – Diagnosed in 2004 as he was beginning his career with the New England Patriots. He went on to play for 11 seasons and win three Super Bowl championshipsMatt Light One Great Gut Joel Sprechman Crohn's Disease Crohns. His symptoms originally stated when he was in college at Purdue. He tried to treat his Crohn’s Disease without drugs, and by removing offending foods, like greasy foods, but that wasn’t enough and he wound up having surgery. He also eventually opted for medicine, and retire, in-part to take care of his health in 2012 and has been on pharmaceuticals since, and ultimately believes he will get off those as well. His tip for dealing with Crohn’s Disease is to grab all the information you can. Use the Internet, use your local doctors, but really seek the people that see the patients.  He advises to never settle for “This is the only way to do it, this is your only option.’’ If you’re dealing with a doctor who says, “This is the only way to go,’’ then you’re in the wrong spot. Make sure you’ve got the right team, the right people.  He has undergone more than a dozen surgeries, the majority of which were Crohn’s-related. He believes positivity has helped his health.







Georgina Aurelia. Georgina is an internet celebrity and part of Netflix’s The Circle, one of the UK’s most popular reality TV series. The show mixes social media with reality TV and is considered the ultimate modern-day series with the notion of being a catfish at the center of attention. Georgina is 21 years old in 2019, is from Nottingham who now lives in London. She entered “The Circle” to spread awareness for Crohn’s. She was diagnosed in 2017 and has since needed operations including having an ileostomy stoma bag fitted. “If you have an invisible disability or if you have a bag like I did, you still have to grab life by the balls. We can live our life, we can enjoy life and Crohn’s is just not going to win or stop you having new experiences or making new friendships.” – Georgina







David Garrard – Former   david garrard one great gutJacksonville Jaguars quarterback was diagnosed in 2004. “One minute I was sitting in my lounge chair at home watching TV, the next minute I was doubled over. Not even Ravens linebacker Ray Lewis hitting me from the blind side hurt that bad. For a few minutes, I could hardly breathe. Finally, the pain went away.”   I’d just sat up again when it came back, worse than before. I was sweating and shivering at the same time. “Mary, come here,” I called to my wife. “I feel like my stomach’s about to explode.” She had to help me up from the chair. The next 24 hours, the pain came and went in waves. Then it stopped. Some kind of nasty bug, I figured and put it out of my mind. David retired from the NFL in 2004, the same year he was diagnosed.  He ended up having surgery to remove a section of his diseased intestines. He founded the David Garrard Foundation, promoting Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, Breast Cancer Awareness, education, research, and support. The foundation also promotes healthy lifestyles for kids. David says,   “Remain strong. I’ve been able to become symptom-free. So I know if I could do it, you can do it”








Samantha Faiers – Samantha, samantha faiers one great gutdiagnosed at age 23 Star of UK’s Celebrity Big Brother in January. Prior to her diagnoses, she said was quoted as saying  “My immune system is down so I’m picking up every bug going. My bowels are swollen and so are my intestines. “I just couldn’t keep my food down. It was horrible. I lost all the muscle definition in my stomach.”












Taryn Mackenzie Williams – Taryn is managing director for Center For American Progress and a writer for Talk Poverty.  Taryn has lived with IBD for 34 years. Her most recent article was “Eugene Scalia Ruled It’s Ok to Make Disabled Workers Soil Themselves on the Job“.  Taryn who is part of the AUCD – Association Of University Centers On Disabilities. In 2014 she was also Associate Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement. From 2017 to 2019 she was Supervisory Policy Advisor, Youth Policy Team for the US Department of Labor. She’s a graduate of Harvard and Brown University.







Larry Donnell Nance Jr. – Larry, the now Los Angeles Lakers forward was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at agLarry Nance Jr. One Great Gute 16 a sophomore in High School.  Prior to his diagnoses, he was sick, undersized and constantly fatigued. He had no desire to play basketball because he was in pain and even getting off the couch was exhausting.  For a long time, Nance
Jr. wondered what was wrong with him.   He was bleeding internally. He couldn’t eat. His gut felt like a scientist had drugged him, laced a long stretch of barbed wire through his large intestine and was steadily dragging it forward. He couldn’t go anywhere because he needed constant access to the bathroom. He had lost 40 pounds. He didn’t know what was wrong, and — seeing the sheer volume of blood he was losing — he was terrified to find out what was happening. A day after starting Remicade, the bleeding — which had been happening for several weeks — stopped. Two days later, the pain was gone. Three days later, he was released from the hospital. A week later, he was nearly back to normal.  Not everyone responds to Remicade, but thankfully Nance Jr. did, and quickly.

anastacia_-_resurrection_tour_04Anastacia -Singer and songwriter who was diagnosed with Crohn’s Disease at age 13. At age 34 she was diagnosed with breast cancer, and the heart condition supraventricular tachycardia at age 39. In 2013 she announced she had undergone Double Mastectomy and is cancer free. She is the second woman to be presented with the humanitarian award at the GQ Men of the Year Awards in 2013

7440898812_d11ee02fdf_bMary Ann Mobley – Mary Ann Mobley was a beauty queen and crowned Miss America in 1959. She would go on to become an actor and would star in TV shows throughout the ’60s and ’70s. She even shared screen time with Elvis Presley. Although she eventually was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer at 72 and eventually died at 77, she lived a long life with chrons disease. “When I broke my arm in a fall, I got a lot of sympathies, but when you live with pain and you can’t will yourself to get up out of bed because you are so anemic and feel so miserable, that is viewed as goldbricking. When you look fairly normal, it is very hard to explain to your college professor that you are not just cutting classes.”

John F. Kennedy – past president – severe Diarrhea – UC or IBS – John had been experiencing abdominal pain at the age of 13 in 1930. Four years later he would be diagnosed with colitis. In 1940, just six years later, his back started to hurt and another four years later, 1944, he had his first back operation and was diagnosed with Addison’s disease. He would require two more back surgeries in 54 an 55 but they both failed. He was in constant pain and required chronic pain medication from 1955, through his presidency, until his death. When he had taken office as president he was taking up to 12 medications a day and getting injected in the back six times a day with Novocain and procaine just to allow him to show up. Never the less the handling of the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Bay of Pigs Invasion, the Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, the establishment of the Peace Corps, developments in the Space Race, the building of the Berlin Wall, the Trade Expansion Act to lower tariffs, and the Civil Rights Movement all took place during his presidency and we still know of his actions 50 years later. His life is a testament that we can get through anything and still come out victorious and have a positive impact on the world.

1024px-defense-gov_photo_essay_101107-d-7203c-004Cynthia McFadden is an American television journalist who is currently the senior legal and investigative correspondent for NBC News. She has interviewed Tony Blair, President George W. Bush, the President of Pakistan, Pervez Musharraf and Hollywood hunk George Clooney. She had been experiencing pain throughout her high school years but after experiencing some extreme pain in college she visited the doctors to learn that she had Crohn’s disease. Throughout college, McFadden’s doctors tried to manage her illness with “massive doses” of cortisone. In 1979 she had 15 feet of intestine removed and is now a CCFA advocate. Today she is still achieving her dreams of interviewing the worlds most interesting people, all while maintaining a positive outlook and caring for a young son, “This is part of me, but it doesn’t define me. And accepting that I have Crohn’s, but it doesn’t run my life, is how I cope with having it.”

668px-mike_mccready_2009Mike McCready is Pearl Jams lead guitarist and has been living with Crohn’s for 25 years now but is still a rock star. He first started experiencing pain when he was 21 and soon after came the blood and mucus that followed for months. He took periodic medications that seemed to help and eventually used Remicade for years until his body developed antibodies to it. Throughout his music career, he endured his disease and found solace in his bandmates that were very receptive to his needs. He is a serious rockstar! Mike says, “When you feel better, try to exercise. Try to figure out what you are eating that may be setting this off. Try to look at the medications that are out there, the diets. Try to look for different things in your life and go inwardly and figure out what works for you. People have to realize that this is not a death sentence. You can learn things from this… there is a positive solution to this, and it has to come from within, from each individual patient.” Today Mike still lives with his disease but finds strength in positivity.

Marvin Pierce Bush – The youngest son of former President George H.W. and the former First Lady Barbara Bush, was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis in 1985.

Rolf Bernischke: Drafted by the NFL in 1977 Bernischke went on to become a place-kicker for the San Diego Chargers. But at age 23, a little known intestinal illness would change the course of his life. “I came down with what was originally diagnosed as Crohn’s disease.” Later found out Ulcerative Colitis.

Ali Carter -Professional Snooker player. Ali was born in 1979 and diagnosed width Crohn’s at age 24. He has partly controlled this IBD by limiting dairy, wheat, and gluten.  He won the Welsh Open, Shangai Masters, German Masters, and World open among numerous other championships.

Sarah Machemer – Sarah is a personal trainer and wellness coach who battled her way back from Crohn’s after her diagnosis in 2002. Within six months of diagnosis, she needed a blood transfusion and reconstructive surgery. After further complications in 2009 resulted in 10 months in and out of hospitals and emergency rooms with her weight dipping to a dangerous 95lbs she realized how out of touch she had been with her own body. She decided to transform how she approached health and wellness and did. Her motto: “It’s not just a workout. It’s a lifestyle.”

Carrie Johnson –  Carrie is an avid canoer who after being diagnosed with Crohn’s qualified for the Olympics three times and won gold during the Pan American Games.

Fun Fact: I was fortunate to learn that Carrie came to my Yoga Class during an IBD fundraising event a few years ago. 

Pete Davidson – Pete is an American comedian who has appeared on SNL(Saturday Night Live), MTV and Jimmy Kimmel Live! At age 17 he was diagnosed with Crohn’s and has found marijuana to help tremendously and allow him to eat.

Frank Firtz – Frank is the co-host of the History Channel’s “American Pickers”. While living with Crohn’s he is also on the road over 175 days a year. His entire television crew knows about his IBD and he has been known to say “They understand it when I need a break. I mean, if I have to go, I have to GO!”

Patrick Hall – Patrick is the owner of Patrick Hall Photography and the founder of Fstoppers, an online community aimed at educating and inspiring photographers, videographers, and creative professionals. Today the website reaches over 1.5 million photographers and averages around 6 million pageviews a month. He was diagnosed at age 12 after six years of symptoms without a diagnosis. When symptoms returned he needed intensive large and small bowel surgery. Afterwards, he lived twelve symptom-free years until he noticed, following a 2019  photoshoot, that “There’s something wrong with my ass” which his surgeon found to be a complex fistula and perianal abscess.

Erron Maxey – Erron is an American professional basketball player for the Formosa Dreamers of the ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) playing in Changhua, Taiwan.  He is a Crohn’s patient advocate and very outspoken on social media about mental health and IBD. He was diagnosed in 2014 but his story actually started years prior in 2009 while playing basketball in Argentina where his symptoms started undiagnosed until 5 years later.  Despite all these challenges he has is a two time New Zealand National Basketball League champion, was award the best 6th man award in the ANBL, made the QBL All-League Team,  and was a #LUB All-Star. 

Brennan Metzger – Brennan is an outfielder for the Fargo-Moorhead RedHawks, a professional baseball team based in Fargo, North Dakota. The RedHawks are a member of the American Association of Independent Professional Baseball, which is not affiliated with Major League Baseball. Brennan has undergone six surgeries and the removal of his colon at Scripps La Jolla related to Crohn’s Disease. Prior to playing for the RedHawks Brennan played for Mission Hills High in San Marcos California and Long Beach State. He was originally diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis, lost 50 pounds and, like myself, spent over a month in the hospital. From using a walker to now playing for the RedHawks he is an inspiration for many. In a recent interview with InForum he said “Thinking back on it now, I’m grateful to be here,”  “I feel like I cheated death.”.  “It makes appreciate a lot of the smaller things in life.” Every eight weeks, Metzger has to get three-hour infusions of medication for the disease. He has an infusion scheduled later this week at a Fargo hospital. “I feel just as good as I ever did,” Metzger said. “I have days where I feel like someone ran me over with a truck. I’ve gotten used to dealing with it all. I grind. I grind through it.” Previously Brennan was playing in the San Francisco Giants organization.

Jeff Hordley – Jeff is an English actor most notable for playing Cain Dingle in the British long-running soap opera Emmerdale. He was diagnosed with Crohn’s in 1996 at age 26 after experiencing symptoms for at least age 20. He is married to his college sweetheart and  British Actress Zoe Henry and has two children, Violet and Stan. His mother, Linda was a nurse and also had Crohn’s.

Note: Originally written in 2017, this article has been revised and updated for accuracy and thoroughness.


Asacol Corticosteroids Enemas Lialda-Mesalamine Pharmaceuticals Prednisone-Deltasone Rowasa Suppository TREATMENT

Pharmaceutical Options

  • Aminosalicylates (5-ASA) – Oral
    • Sulfasalazine [Azulfidine, Azulfidine EN-tabs]
    • Mesalamine [Lialda, Pentasa, Delzicol, Asacol HD] Olsalazine [Dipentum]
    • Balsalazide [Giazo, Colazal]
  • Aminosalicylates (5-ASA) – Rectal suppositories and enemas
    • Mesalamine [Canasa, Rowasa, sfRowasa]

  • Corticosteroids and Glucocorticoids
    • Prednisolone [Pred Forte, Omnipred, Pred Mild, , Orapred ODT, Millipred DP, Veripred 20, and Pediapred]
    • Prednisone [Deltasone, Rayos, Prednisone Intensol]
    • Budesonide [Entocort, Uceris, Pulmicort, Rhinocort Allergy, and Pulmicort Flexhaler]
    • Methylprednisolone [Solu-Medrol, Medrol, ReadySharp Methylprednisolone, P-Care D40, P-Care D80, and Depo-Medrol]

  • Immunosuppressive and Immunomodulators
    • Ustekinumab [Stelara]
    • Adalimumab [Humira, Humira Pen, Humira Pen Crohn’s-UC-HS Start, Humira Pediatric Crohn’s Start, Humira, and Humira Pen Psoriasis-Uveitis]
    • Azathioprine [Azasan, Imuran]
    • Infliximab [Remicade]
    • Cyclosporine [ Sandimmune, Restasis MultiDose, Neoral, Restasis, and Gengraf]
    • Tacrolimus [Envarsus XR, Astagraf XL, Protopic, and Prograf]
    • Golimumab [Simponi ARIA and Simponi]
    • Etanercept [Enbrel, Benepali]
  • Immunosuppressive And Chemotherapy
    • 6-mercaptopurine, 6-MP [Purinethol, Purixan]
    • Methotrexate[Otrexup (PF), Xatmep, Trexall]

      Pain Relievers

    • Dronabinol [Marinol]

    • Acetaminophen [TYLENOL, Ofirmev, FeverAll, Tylophen, Pharbetol, Infant’s Pain Relief, Mapap, Tactinal Extra Strength, PediaCare Fever Reducer, Non-Aspirin Extra Strength]

      Nonsteroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDs)I
    • Ibuprofen [Advil, NeoProfen, Caldolor, Ibuprofen IB, Advil Liqui-Gel, Infant’s Motrin, Infant’s Ibuprofen, Infant’s Advil, Children’s Profen IB, Ibu-Drops]
    • Ketorolac [Toradol, Acuvail, Acular LS, Acular, and ReadySharp ketorolac]

      I recommend trying to stay away from NSAIDs as I’ve personally gone from normal bowel movements to bleeding ulcers just from taking NSAIDs. During one hgospitlziation one medical doctgor hospitalzie conmvicend me, in my vulnerble state, that Toradol has  different MOA(Mechanism Of Action and would not cause any problems. Since I was in a high level of pain, and not thinking clearly,  I agreed. Thankfully the GI and ID team overulled that decision a few days later to save me from further complications. 

      GABA Analogue
    • Gabapentin [Gralise, Neuraptine, Gralise 30-Day Starter Pack, SmartRx Gaba-V Kit, Horizant, and Neurontin]

    • Ketamine [Ketalar, Ketanest, and Ketaset]

      Opioids / Narcotics
    • Codeine (only available in generic form)
    • Fentanyl (Actiq, Duragesic, Fentora)
    • Hydrocodone (Hysingla ER, Zohydro ER)
    • Hydrocodone/acetaminophen (Lorcet, Lortab, Norco, Vicodin)
    • Hydromorphone (Dilaudid, Exalgo)
    • Meperidine (Demerol)
    • Methadone (Dolophine, Methadose)
    • Morphine (Astramorph, Avinza, Kadian, MS Contin, Ora-Morph SR)
    • Oxycodone (OxyContin, Oxecta, Roxicodone)
    • Oxycodone and acetaminophen (Percocet, Endocet, Roxicet)
    • Oxycodone and naloxone (Targiniq ER)
  • Janus Kinase (JAK) Inhibitor 
    •  Tofacitinib [Xeljanz, Jakvinus]

  • Biologic/Biosimilar Therapies
    • Adalimumab [Humira Pen, Humira Pen Crohn’s-UC-HS Start, Humira Pediatric Crohn’s Start, Humira, and Humira Pen Psoriasis-Uveitis]
    • Golimumab [Simponi ARIA and Simponi]
    • Infliximab [Remicade]
    • Vedolizumab [Entyvio]
    • Infliximab-abda
    • Infliximab-dyyb
    • Infliximab-qbtx

  • Antibiotics:
    • Metronidazole [Flagyl]
    • Ciprofloxacin [Cipro, Proquin]
    • Rifaximin [Xifaxan]
    • Ampicillin
    • Tetracycline
    • Augmentin [ AugmentinXR, Augmentin ES-600, and Augmentin]

  • Calceineurin inhibitor
    • Tacrolimus [Envarsus XR, Astagraf XL, Protopic, and Prograf]
CalProctetin Crohn's Disease DIAGNOSIS DIAGNOSTIC TESTING Hematochezia(Blood in Stool) Inflammation Stool Analysis Ulcerative Colitis

IBD Crohn’s Colitis Lab Testing You Can Order

Lab Testing

I recommend checking your Inflammatory markers throughout the year at regular intervals so you can track your progress. What gets measured gets managed. What gets managed can improve.

Your lived experience and quality of life is most important. Keeping a regular journal is helpful because we often forget how good things are until they sometimes turn sour. Heck, I can’t even remember what I had for breakfast yesterday!

Crohn's Colitis Lab Testing From Home
The Crohn’s Disease Activity Index (CDAI) and  Simple Clinical Colitis Activity Index (SCCAI) are useful tools to consider using.  They access disease activity in Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis. For children, consider the Pediatric Crohn’s Disease Activity Index(PCDAI ) or Pediatric Ulcerative Colitis Activity Index (PUCAI).

It’s helpful to pair the lived experience with clinical lab testing as sometimes what’s going on deep inside our bodies are not easily felt, and sometimes they are felt too late and a flare-up is imminent. I’d love for you to stay in long term remission and never experience a flare-up again!.

For clinical results, at the very least, I recommend calprotectin checked every 3 or 4 months.

Order Your Lab Tests From Home

Inflammatory markers to track include Calprotectin, a stool test that measures inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, C-Reactive Protein which is a blood test marker to test inflammation in the body, and Sed rate, also known as erythrocyte sedimentation rate ( ESR) which is also a blood test used to test inflammation in the body and help monitor the status of inflammation, progression or decline.

Recent research shows EBV or Epstein-Barr Virus activation may be responsible for 60% of IBD cases and flare-ups. For this reason, I’ve included EBV testing below for your convenience.

Your Doctor can order these tests for you or you can order directly using the One Great Gut account at Ultra Lab Tests. This is the first company that not just lets patients order their own labs (and receive the results), but also allows you to submit your receipts to your insurance for billing! Please be sure to check with your insurance, as each company has different rules.

Here are the direct links to the tests at Ultra Lab Tests for your convenience:

– Sed Rate by Modified Westergren (ESR)
Useful in differentiating inflammatory and neoplastic diseases and as an index of disease severity. CRP is also useful in monitoring inflammatory disease states.

– Calprotectin, Stool 
– Calprotectin, Stool – Canada
Indicator of inflammation specifically in the GI track. Clinical Significance Used to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, or to differentiate IBD from irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

– C-Reactive Protein Cardiac (hs-CRP)
Also useful in predicting risk for cardiovascular disease

Lactoferrin, Quantitative, Stool
This is an Enzyme-Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for measuring concentrations of fecal lactoferrin, a marker for leukocytes. An elevated level is an indicator of intestinal inflammation. The test can be used as an in vitro diagnostic aid to distinguish patients with active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from those with noninflammatory irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Lactoferrin, Qualitative, Stool
The Lactoferrin IBD-CHEK® is a qualitative (QL) Enzyme Linked Immunosorbent Assay (ELISA) for measuring concentrations of fecal lactoferrin, a marker for leukocytes. A positive level is an indicator of intestinal inflammation. The test can be used as an in vitro diagnostic aid to distinguish patients with active inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) from those with non-inflammatory irritable bowel syndrome (IBS).

Fecal Globin by Immunochemistry (InSure®)
The fecal occult blood test is an immunochromatographic fecal occult blood test that qualitatively detects human hemoglobin from blood in fecal samples. This is a useful screening aid for detecting primarily lower gastrointestinal (G.I.) disorders that may be related to iron deficiency anemia, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, polyps, adenomas, colorectal cancers or other G.I. lesions that can bleed. It is recommended for use by health professionals as part of routine physical examinations and in screening for colorectal cancer or other sources of lower G.I. bleeding.

Fecal Globin by Immunochemistry (InSure®), Medicare Screen
The fecal occult blood test is an immunochromatographic fecal occult blood test that qualitatively detects human hemoglobin from blood in fecal samples. This is a useful screening aid for detecting primarily lower gastrointestinal (G.I.) disorders that may be related to iron deficiency anemia, diverticulitis, ulcerative colitis, polyps, adenomas, colorectal cancers or other G.I. lesions that can bleed. It is recommended for use by health professionals as part of routine physical examinations and in screening for colorectal cancer or other sources of lower G.I. bleeding.

Epstein-Barr Virus (EBV) Antibody Panel
Includes: Epstein-Barr Virus VCA Antibody (IgM), Epstein-Barr Virus VCA Antibody (IgG) and Epstein-Barr Virus Nuclear Antigen (EBNA) Antibody (IgG)

Epstein-Barr (EBV) Comprehensive Panel
For the most comprehensive look at your biomarkers for Epstein-Barr (EBV)
EBV-VCA IgG/IgM (viral capsid antigen) – A positive IgG means you’ve had or currently have the infection; A positive IgM means the virus has been reactivated.
EBV-EBNA IgG (nuclear antigen): A positive test result is usually associated with past infections.
EBV-EA-D IgG (early antigen): A positive EA IgG may mean you have an active or reactivated infection.
The Epstein-Barr EBV Early Antigen D Ab IgG test that will let one know if the virus is actively replicating.


Another good company to use is True Health Labs who offer more specialized testing. TrueHealthLabs, founded in 2009, was created by a Doctor to make lab testing directly available to those who are uninsured, underinsured, whose doctor refuses to order tests and those who simply want to make their own healthcare choices. Your results will be sent to you via encrypted email. Turnaround times are usually 3-4 business days, however, more complex tests can take 14+ business days.  TrueHealthLabs  saves you 20-80% off lab tests by negotiating directly with CLIA certified labs. With a very high trust rating from thousands of users I am a fan.

They conveniently accept HSA +FSA Accounts, too! 

Some of these tests are more expensive than your usual test, and that is because they give specific insight into certain lab markers that other labs are not able to see. For example, the last time I tested my

pro-inflammatory IL2-TH1 with lab corp they were only able to tell me that I was under 31.2. Not exactly helpful!! CytoDx, seen below, will show you IL2-TH1 with greater granularity, and since we would like it to be below 12, this further shows that the <31 from the other lab is not very useful information.

Antibodies to Saccharomyces cerevisiae
These are found in approximately 75% of patients with Crohn’s disease, 15% of patients with ulcerative colitis, and 5% of the healthy population. High antibody titers increase the likelihood of disease, especially Crohn’s disease, and are associated with more aggressive disease. As the inflammation in Crohn’s disease is focused at the gut mucosa, most patients have IgA antibodies to S cerevisiae and half of these also have IgG antibodies. A minority of patients have only IgG antibodies to S cerevisiae.

TH1 TH2 Cytokine Test – Basic
For those with a confirmed autoimmune condition, the Th1 Th2 test is possibly the most important test. The test points out imbalances in the immune system by looking at cytokines, proteins that the immune system relies on to communicate. Bad communication results in complications for those with autoimmune conditions. The information this test provides helps your doctor develop a strong and effective treatment plan for you, especially when seeking alternative medicine support.
The immune system works like a seesaw. On one side you have Th1 cytokines that initiate the first line of defense. On the other side, you have Th2 cytokines which help produce antibodies to protect you from future invasions. However, when one side goes up, the other side goes down. This can contribute to a weak immune system and potentially promote autoimmune issues. Running this test will help to understand where the imbalance is. Because certain botanicals used in natural medicine can boost Th1 cytokines and Th2 cytokines, this test can help you and your doctor develop an effective plan to help balance a weak immune system and turn the volume down on autoimmune attacks.

TH1 TH2 TH17 Cytokine Test – Advanced aka CytoDX
This test is more detailed than the above with readings including

  • Inflammatory Cytokines- Th1
    • INF Gamma: Th1
    • IL-1 beta: Th1
    • IL-2: Th1
    • IL-6: Th1 and Th2
    • IL-7: Weak Th1
    • IL-8: Weak Th1
    • IL-12 p70: Th1
    • IL-17A: Th17
    • IL-18: Weak Th1
    • TNF alpha- Th1
  • Anti-Inflammatory Cytokines- Th2
    • IL-4: Th2
    • IL-5: Th2
    • IL-10: T-regulatory cells
    • IL-13: Th2
    • IL-15: Weak Th2

TH17 Test
New studies show that an increase in a particular type of white blood cell, called Th17 cells, can trigger and determine the severity of autoimmune conditions. Monitoring Th17 levels can help you and your doctor better treat the condition.

Health Check Plus Vitamin D
The Health Check Plus with Vitamin D is perfect for the yearly physical or to monitor diet and lifestyle improvements. Health Check Plus with Vitamin D tests for all the body’s major systems including markers for the heart, kidneys, thyroid, immune system, and liver and more. The panel also screens for anemia, inflammation, infections, diabetes, hypoglycemia, minerals, and vitamin D deficiency. The cost of this test at your doctor’s office or hospital will cost you approximately $1000 plus the cost of the appointment. Running this test before seeing your doctors (check with him/her to see if they want to run additional tests) will save you $700. It makes lab testing affordable for the whole family, even if you have insurance.

Bacterial Organic Acids Test + Amino Acids by Great Plains Labs
The Organic Acids Test (OAT) offers a comprehensive metabolic snapshot of your overall health with 76 markers. It provides an accurate evaluation of intestinal yeast and bacteria. Abnormally high levels of these microorganisms can cause or worsen behavior disorders, hyperactivity, movement disorders, fatigue, and even immune function.

Many with chronic illnesses like Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis, or even neurological disorders often excrete several abnormal organic acids in their urine. The Organic Acids Test also includes markers for vitamin and mineral levels, oxidative stress, neurotransmitter levels, and is the only OAT to include markers for oxalates, which are highly correlated with many chronic illnesses.

Check out this testimonial from Dr. Friedman who uses the OAT in his practice to help someone who was depressed and suicidal:
“After identifying a low serotonin level on an Organic Acid Test (a hallmark functional medicine test), A severely depressed and suicidal man began taking 100mg of 5htp twice a day (5htp is the direct precursor to serotonin). After 2 days, he said his depression virtually disappeared and he was no longer suicidal. I love when I can identify a biochemical glitch and someone can have such a profound emotional turnaround.”

With depression and suicidal ideation sometimes present in those with IBD, Crohn’s, and Colitis, the OATS test could be a test to significantly help.

Bacterial Organic Acids Test(MOAT) by Great Plains Labs
The Microbial Organic Acids Test (MOAT) is included in the Organic Acids Test (OAT) and indicates the metabolites produced by yeast and bacteria. Elevated test values are related to yeast or bacterial dysbiosis.

This test reports 21 metabolites (including creatinine) such as markers for beneficial bacteria, harmful bacteria, Clostridia species, Candida species, yeast and fungal metabolites, and general markers of dysbiosis.

The MOAT is ideal for follow-up to the OAT and may be recommended by practitioners looking for a specific abnormality, to monitor certain microbial balances, or to assess treatment efficacy. We strongly recommend the full OAT as the initial screening test.

Vitamin D Test

Vitamin D Test – Europe

As much as 80% of the population in the United States is estimated to have low vitamin D levels. Emerging studies show that low vitamin D is associated with an increase cause of death from ALL causes. Low vitamin D is also associated with autoimmune diseases and overall immune health.

Vitamin D is crucial for proper immune function. Research is emerging that optimal levels of vitamin D (40ng/ml+) may be able to help prevent upper respiratory infections like the flu and common colds.
One fascinating aspect of Vitamin D is it upregulates the production of Cathelicidins. Cathelicidins are peptides that kill viruses, bacteria, and fungi. Often those with IBD, Crohn’s and Colitis have sub-optimal absorption from foods leaving Vitamin D levels low. Also, many of us work indoors, lack sun exposure in the winter, or live in climates where sun exposure is infrequent allowing Vitamin D levels to drop to potentially dangerous levels.  Over 70% of the population have suboptimal Vitamin D levels. PMID: 19737226 -PMID: 19895218

Studies show that Vitamin D supplementation dose needs to be higher in patients with inflammatory bowel disease[R] We recommend checking your Vitamin D levels at least four times a year, seasonally, and supplementing from the One Great Gut Dispensary as needed.

Vitamin D 1,25 Dihydroxy Active Form

Vitamin D from our diet and sun exposure must be converted into its active form 1, 25 dihydroxy vitamin D. High or low levels of 1, 25 dihydroxy vitamin D and have negative impact in the cardiovascular, neurological, and immune systems.

It is recommended to test dietary/sun vitamin D levels ( 25 hydroxy vitamin D ) in combination with this test in order to deficiencies and/or conversion issues.

Natural Killer Cell(CD56) And Regulatory T-Cell (CD25) Profile

This test determines your Natural Killer Cell and Activated T-Cell Profile including Absolute and Percentage CD3, Absolute and Percentage CD3 CD25 (Regulator T-Cells),  Absolute and Percentage CD3 CD56, (Natural Killer Cells), CBC with Differential and  Total Lymphocyte Count. Assess changes in T-lymphocyte surface markers that may indicate immune stimulation. Natural killer (NK) cells are large granular lymphocytes that mediate MHC-unrestricted cytotoxicity against virus-infected and malignant cells and manufacture a number of cytokines following stimulation of the immune system. The combination of IL-2 and T-cell markers can be used to assess the state of activation of T cells. NK cells are responsible for the destruction of virally infected cells, tumor cells, and antibody-dependent cellular cytotoxicity.

Glucose 6 Phosphate Dehydrogenase (G6PD)
G6PD deficiency is a hereditary condition in which red blood cells break down (hemolysis) when the body is exposed to certain foods, drugs, infections or stress. High dose Vitamin C IV is growing in popularity and helpful for many, however, contraindicated for those with a G6PD deficient as it could lead to death. We recommend that everyone know their G6PD status just in case a high dose Vitamin C is every desired. For example, it’s being reported that some hospitals in China are using high dose Vitamin C IV to treat covid19, and it’s been used to treat cancer and other conditions such as fatigue and infections for years, it is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) for the treatment of cancer or any other medical condition.

Basic CD4 CD8 Ratio Test
The CD4 CD8 ratio profile helps assess the immune system in detail. This test is crucial for patients who are suspected of having a compromised immune system as seen in autoimmune conditions and HIV.

Epstein-Barr Early Detection Test
To detect the early presence of the Epstein Barr Virus, the causative virus in Mononucleosis (Mono). Epstein Barr (EBV) Early Detection Test (IgG D Antigen)

Epstein Barr Profile Mono Test
To detect the presence of the Epstein Barr Virus, the causative virus in Mononucleosis (Mono).
Ebstein Barr Virus VCA (Viral Capsid Antigen) Antibody IgM
Ebstein Barr Virus VCA (Viral Capsid Antigen) Antibody IgG
EBV Nuclear Antigen Antibody, IgG

I recommend to run the Th1 Th2 test along with this CD4/CD8 ratio test if you have any concerns with an autoimmune condition like Crohn’s or Colitis.

Stool Microbiome Testing
BiomeFx by Microbiome Labs is an innovative stool test that utilizes the most advanced technology and evaluates novel, functional markers of the microbiome. This is a new test released in 2020, check out a sample report here.  Microbiome Labs testing requires a practitioner account that we have set up for your convenience. Use onegreatgut code or just click on this link.

GI-Map by Diagnostic Solutions Laboratory
This is the preferred gold standard by many Functional Naturopathic doctors. The GI-MAP (Microbial Assay Plus) is unique in the field of comprehensive stool testing. It relies exclusively on quantitative polymerase chain reaction (qPCR) technology to detect parasites, bacteria, fungi, and more, by targeting the specific DNA of the organisms tested.

GI-MAP by Diagnostic Solutions for those that live in Canada
These Stool Microbiome Tests allow for personalized treatment plans and informative retests. Consider running these labs twice a year so you know where you are with your microbiome and can make adjustments as necessary.  Staying on top of your health decreases the chances of a flare-up occurring that could take a while to reverse.  Some conditions that may warrant microbiome testing are: Autoimmune diseases IBS/IBD Digestive complaints, diarrhea or constipation, brain fog, skin problems, like acne and psoriasis, mood disorders, depression, and anxiety, diabetes, and weight loss issues. The GI-MAP is commonly used in infants and children and can provide insight into conditions related to Attentional Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism, and digestive complaints.

Every purchase from these lab test companies will allow the One Great Gut Foundation to get closer to curing IBD Crohn’s and Colitis. So you can invest in your health and build a healthier world through our initiatives, at the same time!

I hope this has been helpful for your health journey!


  1. Vnitr̆ní lékar̆ství (Vnitr Lek): Czech and Slovak Society of Internal Medicine – Kojecký V, Matouš J, Zádorová Z, Gřiva M, Kianička B, Uher M Vitamin D supplementation dose needs to be higher in patients with inflammatory bowel disease: an interventional study.
  2. Journal Of Crohn’s and Colitis – Vitamin D Inhibits Pro-Inflammatory T Cell Function in Patients With Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Schardey J, Globig AM, Janssen C1, Hofmann M, Manegold P, Thimme R, Hasselblatt P
  3. Journal Of Crohn’s and Colitis – Vitamin D Decreases Hepcidin and Inflammatory Markers in Newly Diagnosed Inflammatory Bowel Disease Paediatric Patients: A Prospective Study  – Moran-Lev H, Galai T, Yerushalmy-Feler A, Weisman Y, Anafy A, Deutsch V, Cipok M, Lubetzky R, Cohen S. –
  4. Journal Of Crohn’s and Colitis – The Effect of Vitamin D on Intestinal Inflammation and Faecal Microbiota in Patients with Ulcerative Colitis. Garg M, Hendy P, Ding JN, Shaw S, Hold G, Hart A. –
  5. Journal Of Crohn’s and Colitis – Lower Vitamin D Status May Explain why African Americans Have Poorer Outcomes than Non-African Americans After Surgery for Crohn’s Disease.
  6. 1Dobnig H, et al. Independent association of low serum 25-Hydroxyvitamin D with all cause mortality. Archives of Internal Medicine. 2008 Jun 23:168:1340-1349.
  7. Vitamin D and prevention of breast cancer: Pooled analysis. The Journal of Steroid Biochemistry and Molecular Biology Volume 103, Issues 3-5, March 2007, Pages 708-711

Note: Originally published in July 2019, this article has been revised and updated for accuracy and thoroughness.

Depression Gratitude LOVE Quiz RESEARCH Resources

Happiness Quiz

The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire was developed by psychologists Michael Argyle and Peter Hills at Oxford University. Take a few moments to take the survey. This is a good way to get a snapshot of your current level of happiness. You can even use your score to compare to your happiness level at some point in the future by taking the survey again. If you are using some of the interventions presented on this site to raise your happiness level, you can see whether your score on the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire goes up as a result.


Below are a number of statements about happiness. Please indicate how much you agree or disagree with each by entering a number in the blank after each statement, according to the following scale:

1 = strongly disagree
2 = moderately disagree
3 = slightly disagree
4 = slightly agree
5 = moderately agree
6 = strongly agree

Please read the statements carefully, because some are phrased positively and others negatively. Don’t take too long over individual questions; there are no “right” or “wrong” answers (and no trick questions). The first answer that comes into your head is probably the right one for you. If you find some of the questions difficult, please give the answer that is true for you in general or for most of the time.

The Questionnaire

1. I don’t feel particularly pleased with the way I am. (R) _____

2. I am intensely interested in other people. _____

3. I feel that life is very rewarding. _____

4. I have very warm feelings towards almost everyone. _____

5. I rarely wake up feeling rested. (R) _____

6. I am not particularly optimistic about the future. (R) _____

7. I find most things amusing. _____

8. I am always committed and involved. _____

9. Life is good. _____

10. I do not think that the world is a good place. (R) _____

11. I laugh a lot. _____

12. I am well satisfied about everything in my life. _____

13. I don’t think I look attractive. (R) _____

14. There is a gap between what I would like to do and what I have done. (R) _____

15. I am very happy. _____

16. I find beauty in some things. _____

17. I always have a cheerful effect on others. _____

18. I can fit in (find time for) everything I want to. _____

19. I feel that I am not especially in control of my life. (R) _____

20. I feel able to take anything on. _____

21. I feel fully mentally alert. _____

22. I often experience joy and elation. _____

23. I don’t find it easy to make decisions. (R) _____

24. I don’t have a particular sense of meaning and purpose in my life. (R) _____

25. I feel I have a great deal of energy. _____

26. I usually have a good influence on events. _____

27. I don’t have fun with other people. (R) _____

28. I don’t feel particularly healthy. (R) _____

29. I don’t have particularly happy memories of the past. (R) _____

Calculate your score

Step 1. Items marked (R) should be scored in reverse:

If you gave yourself a “1,” cross it out and change it to a “6.”
Change “2” to a “5”
Change “3” to a “4”
Change “4” to a “3”
Change “5” to a “2”
Change “6” to a “1”

Step 2. Add the numbers for all 29 questions. (Use the converted numbers for the 12 items that are reverse scored.)

Step 3. Divide by 29. So your happiness score = the total (from step 2) divided by 29.

I recommend you record your score and the date. Then you’ll have the option to compare your score now with your score at a later date. This can be especially helpful if you are trying some of the exercises, and actively working on increasing your happiness.

UPDATE: A lot of people have been asking for some kind of interpretation of the raw number “happiness score” you get in step 3 above. What follows is just off the top of my head, but it’s based in part on the fact that the average person gets a score of about 4.


I suggest you read all the entries below regardless of what score you got because I think there’s valuable information here for everyone.

1-2 : Not happy. If you answered honestly and got a very low score, you’re probably seeing yourself and your situation as worse than it really is. I recommend taking the Depression Symptoms test (CES-D Questionnaire) at the University of Pennsylvania’s “Authentic Happiness” Testing Center. You’ll have to register, but this is beneficial because there are a lot of good tests there and you can re-take them later and compare your scores.

2-3 : Somewhat unhappy. Try some of the exercises on this site like the Gratitude Journal & Gratitude Lists, or the Gratitude Visit; or take a look at the “Authentic Happiness” site mentioned immediately above.

3-4 : Not particularly happy or unhappy. A score of 3.5 would be an exact numerical average of happy and unhappy responses. Some of the exercises mentioned just above have been tested in scientific studies and have been shown to make people lastingly happier.

4 : Somewhat happy or moderately happy. Satisfied. This is what the average person scores.

4-5 : Rather happy; pretty happy. Check other score ranges for some of my suggestions.

5-6 : Very happy. Being happy has more benefits than just feeling good. It’s correlated with benefits like health, better marriages, and attaining your goals. Check back – I’ll be writing a post about this topic soon.

6 : Too happy. Yes, you read that right. Recent research seems to show that there’s an optimal level of happiness for things like doing well at work or school, or for being healthy and that being “too happy” may be associated with lower levels of such things.

The highest score you can get on an item is a 6, and the lowest a 1. If you add up all your scores and divide by the number of questions (29 questions), you’d get an average score for all the questions. The highest possible average would be 6, the lowest possible would be 1. Right in the middle would be 3.5, so you might think that’s what the average person would get, but this is just a raw score. In fact, other studies show that people are generally somewhat happy on average. So it may not be surprising to hear that the average score on the Oxford Happiness Questionnaire is right around a 4, which is essentially what you got (since you got 3.9 out of 6).

Rather than compare yourself to other people, it’s probably more meaningful to compare your score now to your score later and see if there’s a change. Some of the exercises on this site have been shown in scientific studies to make a lasting, positive impact on happiness. You might want to try some of them (I’ll be adding more), and see if they work for you. A few gratitude exercises are already on the site:

*Gratitude Journal & Gratitude Lists

*Gratitude Visit


Hills, P., & Argyle, M. (2002). The Oxford Happiness Questionnaire: a compact scale for the measurement of psychological well-being. Personality and Individual Differences, 33, 1073–1082.

I’ve used “don’t” rather than the more staid and formal “do not” in the phrasing of the questions above; I decided to give preference to my own sense of what is more natural and conversational in American English. (Remember that the questionnaire was developed in England.) I’ve also added the phrase “(find time for),” which psychology researcher Sonja Lyubomirsky uses for clarification in question 18.

Written and posted by Dr. Steve Wright @
Dr. Wright is a research scientist. NIH-TL1 Postdoctoral Scholar, Dept. of Medicine, Georgetown University.