How Are Stress and Crohn’s Related?

It’s no secret that many people feel stress from time to time. While there’s no proof that stress itself causes Crohn’s disease, stress can be a factor in symptom flare-ups. Here are a few ways that can help you manage your stress levels:

Exercise more

Consider meditation
or yoga

Seek out counseling

Join a support group

How much of your time is your Crohn's impacting? Find out and make a personal action plan >.

Real Crohn's patient

Having a strong support system is the number one thing you can give yourself because if you isolate yourself, I mean, you’re going to be isolated.

SARAH | Real Crohn’s Patient

Real Crohn's patient

Helping Those Who Are Important to You Understand Your Crohn’s

In your everyday life, you may have to deal with some aspect of your condition—whether you’re experiencing Crohn’s symptoms or not. But just because Crohn’s is chronic doesn’t mean it has to take over your life. There are ways to help you be your own best advocate and get info to family, friends, coworkers—whomever you think wants or needs to understand the disease in your life.

So, if the moment ever comes up when someone asks about your Crohn’s, and you’re open to sharing info with others when necessary, here are a few ways to help you be prepared:

  • Learn about Crohn’s: To explain the basics of the disease and how it can affect you, a good place to start is to know as much as you can about it.
  • Have information handy: You may want to have resources do some of the explaining for you. You can have printed material, like Crohn’s Disease 101, or even refer them to a website like this one.
  • Understand your rights: Explore guidelines and eligibility requirements for potential services you may need. There may be means to access reasonable accommodations at school or work through laws such as the:
    • Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
    • Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)
    • Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973
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QUESTION FOR YOU

How long have you been diagnosed?

"I'm not diagnosed"

It’s still important to be open about symptoms you might be experiencing.

Partner with your doctor>

 

"Under a year"

Always stay positive and be proactive. Make sure you know the facts about your condition.

GET THE FACT SHEET>

"1 to 3 years"

Make the most out of every appointment with your specialist.

GET THE Doctor Discussion Guide>

"3 to 5 years"

Do you know how inflammation affects you inside the body—and impacts your symptoms?

See Inside Inflammation>

 

"Over 5 years"

Keep treatment conversations open with your specialist and have more productive visits.

Get The Doctor Discussion Guide>

 

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QUESTION FOR YOU

How often do you experience symptoms?

“Daily”

Schedule an appointment with your specialist and make the visit even more productive.

Get the Doctor Discussion Guide>

“Weekly”

Have an open conversation with your specialist. Make the most of your next visit.

Get the Doctor Discussion Guide>

“Monthly”

Make sure that you’re telling your doctor everything they need to know to help you.

Get the Doctor Discussion Guide>

“Rarely”

Did you know that inflammation can affect you—even if you don’t have symptoms?

SEE INSIDE INFLAMMATION>

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Know the basics of Crohn’s or UC

See an overview of facts on Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC)—all on one downloadable page.

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Understand your inflammation

Explore and learn how inflammation affects you with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC)—from inside the body.

Navigating Social Situations With Crohn’s

The possibility of a Crohn’s flare may keep some people from enjoying an active social life. But there are a few ways to plan ahead that may help you feel more comfortable going out.

Woman sitting at outdoor table smiling

Know what to expect where you’re going. Whether you have access to a bathroom if you need one or whether taking a change of clothes makes sense can be part of your routine when getting ready.

Woman holding a glass of wine

Alcohol, smoking, and drugs affect each person with Crohn's differently. But they may pose health risks to your gastrointestinal (GI) tract and affect your medications. Remember to ask your doctor for more information.

Two people holding hands

You may have questions about navigating relationships with Crohn’s. You may already know that being honest with your friends and partner is important—and so is your comfort level when talking about your Crohn’s. Learning to talk about it can help make you feel more understood by others—and help others find better ways to support you when you need it.

Traveling With Crohn's

Doing some research and planning ahead of time can help make trips go more smoothly. Here are a few tips:

Talk to your healthcare team about your travel plans. They may be able to offer advice and information about any necessary precautions or immunizations.

Take along your healthcare team’s contact information and copies of insurance cards.

Remember to bring enough medication—preferably in its original packaging. And make sure the sizes of liquids can go through security.

If you have an ostomy bag, make sure you tell TSA personnel before you go through security. Check out the TSA’s page for people with medical conditions.

Research where you’re going so you know what to expect. Aside from places to stay and where to eat, you might want to find out about nearby restrooms, when pharmacies are open, and if water is safe to drink.

Your diet when you travel should be as close as possible to your diet at home. Bring along dry, packable foods and follow the same precautions when eating out as you would when not traveling.

Use helpful resources that are available—like a Restroom Request Card, which can let you discreetly communicate your condition and gain access to restricted bathrooms—to be prepared in case you have sudden symptoms away from home.

How Crohn’s Disease Can Affect Women Differently

While men and women may be equally affected by Crohn’s disease and share many of the same symptoms, there are some differences that may occur.

Man and woman talking and brainstorming

Extraintestinal manifestations: Crohn’s-related symptoms outside of the intestines happen more often in women than men

Man putting his arm around a woman while sitting on the couch

Conception: Generally, women with Crohn’s disease in remission can become pregnant as easily as other women the same age—however, women with active disease may have more difficulty becoming pregnant (conceiving during a disease flare is not advised)—always talk to your doctor if you plan on becoming pregnant

Pregnant woman in the produce aisle of a grocery store

Pregnancy: Women with Crohn’s usually have healthy pregnancies and infants. However, they’re more likely to have a complication of pregnancy than women without inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)—even if their disease is in remission. If you’re pregnant, it’s important to keep your healthcare team on the same page

3 females enjoying time together

Relatives affected: Female patients were found to have first- or second-degree relatives with Crohn’s disease more often than male patients

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Get a Restroom Request Card* and helpful info

Have a discreet way to ask for access to restricted restrooms if you have symptoms. And get updates, resources, and more sent to your inbox.

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Understand your inflammation

Explore and learn how inflammation affects you with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis (UC)—from inside the body.

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Looking for a gastroenterologist?

Find a gastroenterologist—a doctor who specializes in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis (UC)—near you.

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Make the most of your appointments

Our doctor discussion guide can help you talk effectively with your doctor during your visits.

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Is it time make a personalized action plan?

See how much time your disease is impacting you. Answer 5 quick questions and get 3 customized, timely steps to help you and your doctor take action with your disease.

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