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Managing Stress

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affect virtually every aspect of a person’s life. If you have IBD, you’re bound to have questions about the relationship between stress and emotional factors and this disease.

Although flares are sometimes associated with stressful events or periods, there is no proof that stress causes Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. It is much more likely that the emotional distress people sometimes feel is a reaction to the symptoms of the disease itself.

Individuals should seek understanding and emotional support from their families and caregivers. As depression can be associated with chronic illness, a doctor may recommend medication and/or a referral to a mental health professional. Although formal psychotherapy usually isn’t necessary, some people are helped considerably by speaking with a therapist who is knowledgeable about IBD or about chronic illness in general. In addition, CCFA offers local support groups to assist patients and their families in coping with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

General health maintenance

It is important to continue general health maintenance. While working with your gastroenterologist, also remember to speak with your primary care provider about other important issues including vaccinations, oral health, vision, heart, breast, colon, and prostate screening, and periodic blood testing.