One Idol contestant was conspicuously absent at the elimination show last night- 19 year-old bass player/singer Casey Abrams. He was in the hospital for a second time . On February 23, Abrams was rushed to the ER after complaining about stomach pains, but he was back in time for the show the next week. This week, he performed a well received Joe Cocker’s version of the Beatles’ “With a Little Help From My Friends.” At the top of last evening’s broadcast, host Ryan Seacrest announced Abrams absence:
“You’ll notice that Casey is missing from the group. He is unfortunately sick and in the hospital right now. Wave to him. … We know you’re watching buddy, feel better — shout-out to the nurses. Get back here soon, OK?”
Casey later tweeted:
“Hey guys, thanks for the well wishes, I got some nice fresh blood in me and feeling better. People at Idol & Cedars are treatin me real good.”
An Idol insider told The Hollywood Reporter that Abrams received two units of blood as a transfusion yesterday, and that he suffers from the inflammatory bowel condition called ulcerative colitis.
What is Ulcerative Colitis?
Ulcerative colitis is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon. Ulcers form where inflammation has killed the cells that usually line the colon, then bleed and produce pus. Inflammation in the colon also causes the colon to empty frequently, causing diarrhea.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), the general name for diseases that cause inflammation in the small intestine and colon. It can be difficult to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to other intestinal disorders and to another type of IBD called Crohn’s disease. Crohn’s disease differs because it causes inflammation deeper within the intestinal wall and can occur in other parts of the digestive system including the small intestine, mouth, esophagus, and stomach.
Ulcerative colitis can occur in people of any age, but it usually starts between the ages of 15 and 30. It affects men and women equally and tends to run in families. A higher incidence of ulcerative colitis is seen in Whites and people of Jewish descent.
What are the symptoms of ulcerative colitis?
The most common symptoms of ulcerative colitis are abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea. Patients also may experience
- weight loss
- loss of appetite
- rectal bleeding
- loss of body fluids and nutrients
- skin lesions
- joint pain
- growth failure (specifically in children)
About half of the people diagnosed with ulcerative colitis have mild symptoms. Others suffer frequent fevers, bloody diarrhea, nausea, and severe abdominal cramps. Ulcerative colitis may also cause problems such as arthritis, inflammation of the eye, liver disease, and osteoporosis. It is not known why these problems occur outside the colon. Scientists think these complications may be the result of inflammation triggered by the immune system. Some of these problems go away when the colitis is treated.
What causes ulcerative colitis?
Many theories exist about what causes ulcerative colitis. People with ulcerative colitis have abnormalities of the immune system, but doctors do not know whether these abnormalities are a cause or a result of the disease. The body’s immune system is believed to react abnormally to the bacteria in the digestive tract.
Ulcerative colitis is not caused by emotional distress or sensitivity to certain foods or food products, but these factors may trigger symptoms in some people. The stress of living with ulcerative colitis may also contribute to a worsening of symptoms.
For more information about ulcerative colitis, including diagnosis and treatment, click here to go to the Resounding Health Casebook on the topic.