- You don’t look sick.
Inflammatory bowel diseases are what people refer to as ‘invisible illnesses’. I may appear okay but the smallest tasks require all my energy and turn into a daily struggle.More often,people who suffer these types of illnesses do not want sympathy. By looking good we are able to keep hold of some small aspect of normality.
2. Why are you always tired ? You don’t do anything.
Fatigue is all part of the package when you have Crohns and other IBD’s. This mainly comes from not being able to absorb nutrients properly. Other side effects include anemia and dehydration from the frequent bowel movements which can also lead to tiredness.
3. OMG , I know what you’re going through
Welllll. No you don’t. When opening up to somebody about your IBD you are often faced with people explaining their own bowel movements to you. Thank you for telling me about your stomach ache 6 months ago. But it is incomparable to what I go through everyday. Even amongst people with Crohns and colitis no one’s experience is the same. Just be a listening ear.
4. Have you tried going vegan? vegetarian , dairy free?
Many foods can trigger symptoms,which vary from individual to individual. Although, dietary changes are not always a negative thing to suggest. I have completely eliminated diary from my diet for the past 3 months in addition to reducing my meat consumption, for the sake of having a healthy,balanced diet. However, what needs to be understood is that Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease , therefore it is not caused by diet!
5. WOW, you’ve lost / put on so much weight.
It is very likely that the person suffering from Crohns will be unhappy with their weight as the change is quiet drastic. In my case , having lost a large amount of weight I have had comments such as ” at least you’ll be skinny forever!” these comments are not funny. When speaking to somebody with IBD mentioning their weight is something you should abstain from.
6.Why are you so picky with food?
Side effects from medication or during a flare up ( when the disease is active ) may result to a loss of appetite. As I mentioned earlier on , certain foods can cause the onset of symptoms. Me not eating those foods is not me being picky, rather just careful.
7. My uncles,brothers,dads,sister was cured from IBD.
Thanks for the narrative. There is no cure for IBD.
8. You literally just have to use the toilet all the time, it cant be that bad !?
If you haven’t already , check out my blog post on Crohns , colitis and other IBD’s symptoms. They can be extremely disabling.SO yes, it really is that bad.
9. Wow , I don’t know how you deal with this.
Another , very inconsiderate comment. Thank you for reminding me of my torment.
10. LAST BUT NOT LEAST.
Do not ask too many questions. Many people with IBD’s are uncomfortable in talking about their symptoms due to the nature of the disease. Don’t be too forward. Educate yourself on the disease before engaging in a conversation with the person. ( It literally can take you less than 5 mins to understand what Crohns, colitis and other IBD’S are)
Thank you for reading !