Education matters when coping with Crohn’s, Colitis (Part 5)
This week is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week and we are shining a light on these “invisible illnesses.” Our five-part series explains how a unique opportunity Thursday educated more people about these digestive diseases.
CCX News co-hosted a twitter chat with Hennepin County Healthcare and the Minnesota-Dakota chapter of the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation.
People from Brooklyn Park, Miami, Japan, and England, joined the conversation. The discussion focused on education and empowerment.
People talked about debunking stigmas when it comes to inflammatory bowel disease. Many people think it is just a bathroom disease. However, the diseases can also effect other parts of the body, like eyes and joints.
“People think that they cannot live a normal life with IBD. Not true! I tell them that most have friends with it and they probably don’t even know it,” said Dr. Brosam with Hennepin HealthCare.
How do the diseases impact relationships?
According to a participant named Jenny, “I’m very fortunate that I met my husband at the onset of symptoms. We have both grown up with the disease, if you will. My biggest struggle is I do not want sympathy-one of the reasons it is hard to talk about it. Everyone has a struggle. This just happens to be mine.”
“A group of friends traveled to Ireland recently,” said Dodee. “I can’t even picture going on a long trip with others. Getting stuck in a bathroom and holding up the group.”
Doctors provided expertise, while the local Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation provided resources for patients and their caregivers. The chat continued throughout the evening and this morning.
IBD and Stress
Stress often plays a role in IBD. With the holidays around the corner, how do you handle stress?
The Crohn’s Colitis Foundation offered up this message: “Don’t avoid a dream vacation or business trip because you suffer from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Whether traveling abroad or here in the States, these tips will come in handy.” Check out this resource with great travel tips!
If you want to check out the chat–just look for the hashtag– #IBDconvo.