Living with Crohn's & Colitis
Life with IBD
School and work, doing what you enjoy, and keeping healthy are all affected by IBD. You can do things to make your life easier.
- Most people with IBD need to take medication for the rest of their lives.
- You may have symptoms that range from mild to severe.
- You will have times when you have flares with active symptoms.
- You will have times of remission and good health.
Will I be able to go to school, hang out with my friends, or play sports?
Yes. You will be able to do many of the same activities that you did before. However, you may need to take certain precautions and rearrange your plans when you are not feeling well or you are too tired.
Coping with IBD
Your IBD symptoms may disappear at times, but you never know when they’re going to become a problem. If you are prepared and take care of yourself, these symptoms won’t limit your life.
Since you haven’t changed, remember who you are.
- You are more than your IBD. Accept your illness and continue to do what you enjoy.
- Explore the activities you enjoyed before IBD and try new ones.
Modify them, if you have to, so you can participate fully.
- Form friendships with people who understand and support you.
- Participate in a regular exercise routine, with your doctor’s approval.
Exercise can improve overall health, reduce stress, and help to maintain and improve bone strength.
For more help, find a local Crohn's & Colitis Foundation support group in your community.
There will be times when your disease is in deep and durable remission and you feel great. But at other times, IBD symptoms are unpredictable. Just in case you need it, be prepared with emergency supplies. Carry the basics in your purse or backpack.
You might want to include the following:
- Toilet paper
- Wet wipes
- Hand sanitizer
- Small can of air freshener
- Disposable gloves (to handle any soiled clothes)
- Large-sized freezer bags (for the soiled clothes)
- Clean underwear
- Clean shorts, pants, or leggings (anything that you can wear until you get home)