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Newly Diagnosed

I’ll Be Devoted to taking charge
of my IBD from the start.

Start your new journey

This journey can help you prepare for lifestyle changes that may come from your diagnosis, including insights from people living with the disease. At the end of your journey, you'll earn a Star Rookie badge, proving your devotion to taking charge of IBD from the start.

Watch the introduction video to the right to get started. For more support and answers to your questions, contact our Information Resource Center at: 1-888-MY-GUT-PAIN (1-888-694-8872).

start journey

IBD 101

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are inflammatory conditions of the intestines. Symptoms include abdominal cramping, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss. The two most common forms of IBD, Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, cause chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Spanning from the mouth to the anus, the GI tract is responsible for digesting food, absorbing nutrients, and eliminating waste. Though there are similarities between the two diseases, key differences stem from the location of the inflammation.

Roll over the topics below to learn more about IBD:

Causes

Causes
While the exact cause of IBD is unclear, it involves an interaction of genes, the immune system, and environmental factors. The body's immune system usually eliminates foreign microorganisms (invaders) such as bacteria. Inside a healthy GI tract, harmless bacteria (many of which aid in digestion) are protected. In people with IBD, these bacteria are mistaken for harmful invaders and the immune system mounts a response with inflammation.

Symptoms

Symptoms
IBD symptoms vary from person to person and may change over time. Ranging from mild to severe, symptoms of both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis include diarrhea, urgent bowel movements, abdominal cramping and pain. Additionally, people with IBD often go through periods when little or no symptoms are present (known as remission).

Since Crohn's disease can affect any part of the GI tract, symptoms can vary depending on the location of the inflammation. Ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, only affects the colon and rectum and may cause small sores or ulcers, which can bleed, resulting in bloody stools.

Flares

Flares
Periods of time when the disease is active and causing symptoms,flares can include diarrhea, rectal bleeding, urgent bowel movements, constipation, abdominal pain, fever, fatigue, loss of appetite, and weight loss. Though flares may occur with no apparent reason, some triggers include stress, diet, incorrect medication dosage, lapse in medication, and smoking.

Routine Monitoring

Routine Monitoring
Once diagnosed, your symptoms can oftentimes be effectively managed with medication and ongoing monitoring. Even if you have no symptoms, you will undergo periodic blood testing for evidence of active inflammation and complications of your disease or treatment.

Understand that tests are a snapshot of where you are today, not a long-term view of your health. A complete blood count helps to identify anemia, infection, inflammation, and certain medications. In addition to blood testing, other tests your physician may order on a regular basis include tests to identify inflammation, infection, dehydration, medication side effects, and potential complications.


Real IBD patients. Real IBD challenges.

Click on the videos below to see how two patients share their individual IBD challenges and how they overcame them.


  •  
    Quality of Life

    Hear how IBD symptoms and complications affected Claudia’s career as a journalist.

  • Symptoms &
    Complications

    Claudia discusses how she is “close to symptom-free” after experiencing complications.

  •  
    Diet

    Find out how Jason’s dietary adjustments improve his overall
    well-being.

  •  
    Treatment

    Jason shares why sticking to his prescribed treatment was important in managing his symptoms.

Quality of life

Hear how IBD symptoms and complications affected Claudia's career as a journalist.

Quality of life

What has been your biggest challenge when it comes to your overall well-being and IBD?


Interference with work/school

Impact on social life

Keeping stress levels down

Lack of energy

None of the above


Quality of life

How I faced my challenge

Claudia works with her employers to reduce the amount of stress in her job.

Quality of life

CCFA asked patients and health care professionals for their input on this topic,
and here are some tips they had to offer:

Be open and honest with people about your disease and how it affects you, especially at work/school. In addition to giving people an understanding of your disease, it’s important for you to learn how to talk about it.
When going out to dinner, a movie, a party, or other event, learn the location of the bathroom when you arrive. It will save you some panic if you have a flare.
Remember that you’re not alone. Connecting with others who are going through what you’re going through can be a great source of comfort and insight.

Real IBD patients. Real IBD challenges.

Select another video, or complete your journey now.

  •  
    Quality of Life

    Hear how IBD symptoms and complications affected Claudia's career as a journalist.

  • Symptoms &
    Complications

    Claudia discusses how she is “close to symptom-free” after experiencing complications.

  •  
    Diet

    Find out how Jason's dietary adjustments improve his overall
    well-being.

  •  
    Treatment

    Jason shares why sticking to his prescribed treatment was important in managing his symptoms.

Symptoms &
Complications

Hear about the challenges Claudia faced when she developed a new complication.

Symptoms & Complications

What has been your biggest challenge when it comes to symptoms and complications?

Managing flares away
from home

Avoiding complications

Knowing what foods
cause symptoms for you

Getting my IBD management
off to a good start

None of the above

Symptoms &
Complications

How I faced my challenge

Claudia shares how she’s “close to symptom-free” after experiencing of treating her complications.

Symptoms & Complications

CCFA asked patients and health care professionals for their input on this topic,
and here are some tips they had to offer:

If you’re uncomfortable with your original diagnosis or treatment advice, don’t be afraid to seek out a second opinion. Also consider seeing a gastroenterologist who has experience with IBD patients.
Be involved with your treatment plan. Make sure you have a good relationship and good communication with your health care team.
When talking with your doctor or a specialist, don’t be afraid to ask questions. Come prepared with questions and/or concerns written down.

Real IBD patients. Real IBD challenges.

Select another video, or complete your journey now.

  •  
    Quality of Life

    Hear how IBD symptoms and complications affected Claudia's career as a journalist.

  • Symptoms &
    Complications

    Claudia discusses how she is "close to symptom-free" after experiencing complications.

  •  
    Diet

    Find out how Jason’s dietary adjustments improve his overall
    well-being.

  •  
    Treatment

    Jason shares why sticking to his prescribed treatment was important in managing his symptoms.

Diet

Hear Jason talk about his dietary challenges — from giving up foods he loved to skipping meals.

Diet

What has been your biggest diet-related challenge since being diagnosed with IBD?


Avoiding trigger foods

Finding IBD friendly foods

Sticking with a healthy diet

Not skipping meals

None of the above

Diet

How I faced my challenge

Jason overcomes his dietary challenges and improves his IBD symptoms.

Diet

CCFA asked patients and health care professionals for their input on this topic,
and here are some tips they had to offer:

It can take some trial and error to get your meal plan where it needs to be, but hang in there. Eating right will eventually become part of your daily routine, and you may reap the benefits of symptom improvement.
Keeping a food journal may help you to track how your diet relates to your symptoms.
Consider adding a nutritionist or dietician to your health care team.

Real IBD patients. Real IBD challenges.

Select another video, or complete your journey now.

  •  
    Quality of Life

    Hear how IBD symptoms and complications affected Claudia's career as a journalist.

  • Symptoms &
    Complications

    Claudia discusses how she is “close to symptom-free” after experiencing complications.

  •  
    Diet

    Find out how Jason's dietary adjustments improve his overall
    well-being.

  •  
    Treatment

    Jason shares why sticking to his prescribed treatment was important in managing his symptoms.

Treatment

Jason shares the challenges of keeping his symptoms and complications to a minimum.


Treatment

What has been your biggest challenge with your IBD treatment plan?


Getting desired results

Talking openly with your doctor

Remembering to take your
medication

Worrying about side effects

None of the above

Treatment

How I faced my challenge

Jason learns the importance of working with his doctor and knowing what’s going on with his body.

Prove That You’re Devoted

Starting today, I will: (Check all that apply.)

Have an open dialogue with my health care team to get my IBD management off to a good start

Keep a food diary, eliminate trigger foods, and add delicious IBD friendly foods to my diet

Listen to my body and share symptom changes with my health care team

Maintain a healthy lifestyle, including reducing stress

Create a support network including family, friends, my health care team, and others living with IBD

Prove That You’re Devoted

It is important to take charge of IBD from the start and stay on top of managing it. Our
GI Buddy tracking tool can help, making it easy to keep track of your symptoms, treatment,
diet and well-being. You can even generate at-a-glance and detailed reports to help you see
your IBD management over time, and how these factors might be related.

Your healthcare team can help you identify these relationship, so be sure to share your reports at your next visit. Together, you can work to improve your IBD management and quality of life.


Prove That You're Devoted

We are so happy that you're taking charge of IBD from the start!

Our GI Buddy tracking tool will help you stay on top of your IBD management. It makes
it easy to keep track of your symptoms, treatment, diet and well-being. You can even
generate at-a-glance and detailed reports to help you see you IBD management over
time, and how certain IBD factors may be related.

Be sure to share your reports with your health care team. Together, you can work to
improve your IBD management and quality of life.


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Info Center

Important facts about IBD and management tools.

Resources & Tips

Access tips, questions for your doctor, and valuable CCFA resouces.

Be Inspired. Inspire Others.

Earn your badges, then share your experience with others living with IBD.

Treatment

I'll Be Driven to find a treatment plan that helps me better manage IBD.

Your Treatment Journey

Start your Treatment Journey to rethink how you're managing IBD, explore your treatment options, and learn the risks and benefits associated with each treatment. Complete all five challenges along your journey to earn your Senior Partner badge.

By the end of your journey, we hope you'll be driven to work with your doctor to find the treatment plan that helps you better manage IBD.

start journey

Why Treat IBD?

Treating your inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is one of the most important choices you can make when it comes to overall disease management.

Benefits of treating IBD

Depending on the treatment, benefits may include:

  • Symptom relief
  • Reduced inflammation, leading to healing of the gastrointestinal tract lining
  • Possibility of achieving remission (the absence of symptoms)
  • Possibility of maintaining remission (preventing flares)
  • Lower risk of certain complications
  • Improved physical health
  • Improved quality of life

Risks of not treating IBD

Choosing to not treat IBD may result in:

  • Active disease symptoms (diarrhea, abdominal pain, etc.)
  • Increased inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract
  • Higher frequency of flares
  • Higher risk of certain complications
  • Poorer health status
  • Inability to do as many of the things you love

Play the Matching Game

How well do you know IBD medications?
Match the medication class on the left with its description on the right. At the end, we'll let you know how you did!

Challenge 1 of 5

Play the Matching Game

Medication Types Descriptions
A Aminosalicylates 1 Fast-acting anti-inflammatory drugs used to treat flare-ups;
intended for short-term use
B Antibiotics 2 Newest IBD drugs; target proteins that play a role in inflammation; intended for long-term use; can help maintain remission
C Corticosteroids 3 May reduce intestinal bacteria; intended for long-term use, particularly in Crohn's disease; may help maintain remission
D Immunomodulators 4 Contain the compound 5-aminosalicylic acid (5-ASA), which helps control inflammation; may help maintain remission
E Biologic therapies 5 Weaken the activity of the immune system to reduce inflammation; may help patients maintain remission and get off corticosteroids sooner
 

Play the Matching Game: Results

Challenge 1 of 5

You Got
0 out of 5
Correct

Medications are an important part of your IBD management plan. Work with your doctor to weigh the risks and benefits of medications and make the treatment decisions that are right for you. Learn more

CORRECT ANSWERS:

A 4
B 3
C 1
D 5
E 2

Challenge 2 of 5

Learn About Complementary Therapies

Many people with IBD use complementary therapies to help manage symptoms. But it's important to understand that complementary therapies should not replace treatment with prescription medications. Additionally, you should always tell your doctor if you are using or planning to use complementary therapies, as they could interact with your medications or with other products.

Keep going. You’re on your way to earning the Senior Partner badge!

Roll over the commonly used complementary therapies below to see their potential benefits and risks:

Vitamins

Possible benefits
Many people with IBD may experience vitamin and mineral deficiencies for a variety of reasons. Common reasons include lack of absorption of nutrients in the GI system, and elimination of certain problematic foods from their diet (which in turn means elimination of important nutrients). But vitamin B12, vitamin D, calcium, folic acid and iron supplements can help replace vitamin and mineral deficiencies.

Possible risks
In general, vitamins are considered low-risk, but excessive use of certain vitamins may be harmful, so it's important to discuss your vitamin and mineral needs with your doctor. Also, keep in mind that unlike pharmaceutical products, vitamins are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Probiotics

Possible benefits
Probiotics can help restore the "good" bacteria that normally reside in the intestines. Some scientific evidence shows that probiotics may help people with IBD maintain remission, and prevent and treat pouchitis — a complication that can result from surgery to remove the colon.

Possible risks
Probiotics are generally low risk. Some people may experience mild gas or bloating. And keep in mind that unlike pharmaceutical products, probiotics are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration. Also, the safety of probiotics in young children, older adults, and people with compromised immune systems has not been adequately studied.

Fish oils

Possible benefits
Fish oils — found in fatty fish such as salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines as well as some nuts and green vegetables — provide an anti-inflammatory effect and may help relieve intestinal inflammation, but studies have not shown an effect on maintaining remission in IBD.

Possible risks
Fish oils are generally low risk, but it's important to note that there are conflicting studies when it comes to their ability to relieve symptoms and maintain remission. Also, unlike pharmaceutical products, fish oil supplements are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Natural aloe vera supplement

Possible benefits
Aloe vera is thought to have anti-inflammatory properties. Some people with mild-to-moderate ulcerative colitis who drink aloe vera juice have reported reduced symptoms.

Possible risks
People with IBD should be cautioned that aloe vera, taken orally, has a laxative effect. Plus, it can boost your immune system. This can be dangerous for people with IBD, who already have an overactive immune system. Keep in mind that unlike pharmaceutical products, aloe vera products are not regulated by the Food and Drug Administration.

Tell Us About You

Challenge 3 of 5

What are you using (or have you used) to treat your IBD?
(Check all that apply.)

Prescription medications Complementary & alternative medicine
Over-the-counter medications Surgery
Modified diet I'm not treating IBD
 

Tell Us About You

Challenge 3 of 5

Treating IBD is an important part of your overall IBD management plan.
Even if you don't have active disease symptoms, treatment can:

  • Reduce the risk of flare-ups
  • Help maintain lower levels of inflammation
  • Contribute to healing of the gastrointestinal tract lining
  • Improve quality of life
  • And more

This Doctor Discussion Guide can help you and your doctor take a closer look at how IBD affects you, and determine if you could be doing more to manage IBD. Be sure to print it, fill it out, and take it to your next appointment.

Get the Facts About Surgery

Challenge 4 of 5

Surgery should only be used as a final
treatment option for IBD.

True
False

Get the Facts About Surgery: Results

Challenge 4 of 5

While surgery does bear some risk, it is an important treatment option for IBD. Plus, in certain situations not having surgery may be riskier than having surgery. Learn more

One more challenge to earn your Senior Partner badge!

Prove That You're Driven

Challenge 5 of 5

Starting today, I will: (Check all that apply.)

Ask myself if I could be doing more to manage my IBD
Tell my doctor if I'm not satisfied with my current treatment
Learn more about all my treatment options, and discuss the benefits and risks with my doctor
Begin a Medication Log — keeping track of my medication details and any symptoms or side effects — to help me and my doctor see how effectively my treatment is working
Maintain a healthy lifestyle to get the most from my treatment and help manage IBD
 

Prove That You're Driven

Challenge 5 of 5

Get Your Senior Partner Badge

Congratulations!

You finished the Treatment Journey and earned your Senior Partner badge. To save your badge in your profile, please log in or register.

Get involved in CCFA programs and advocacy opportunities.

I Earned the Senior Partner Badge
Login
* Required field
* Username:
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Patient Perspectives

Two patients share their individual IBD treatment journeys.

Doctor Insight

Dr. Stephen Hanauer talks about IBD treatment options.

Be Inspired. Inspire Others.

Earn your badges, then share your experience with others living with IBD.

Diet

I'll Be Dedicated to making nutritious food choices.

Your Diet Journey

Start your Diet Journey to rethink how you're nourishing your body, explore your diet options, and understand the risks and benefits associated with certain foods and diets. Complete all five challenges along your journey to earn your Top Chef badge.

By the end of your journey, we hope you'll be dedicated to maintaining a nutritious meal plan — along with a treatment plan — that helps you better manage IBD.

start journey

Why Choose Nutritious Foods?

Maintaining a well-balanced, nutritious diet is something we all should strive for. But it's especially important if you have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) because you're more susceptible to malnourishment than people without IBD.

Benefits of good nutrition

Good nutritional status may lead to:

  • Improved IBD symptoms
  • Increased effectiveness of medications
  • Proper absorption of proteins, calories, water and other nutrients
  • Lower risk of iron and calcium deficiencies
  • Bone health
  • Normal growth patterns (children and teens)
  • A healthy body weight
  • Regular hormone levels and menstrual cycles (women and girls)
  • Good hydration

Risks of malnourishment

Poor nutritional status may lead to:

  • IBD flares
  • Decreased effectiveness of medications
  • Poor absorption of proteins, calories, water and other nutrients
  • Iron and calcium deficiencies
  • Bone loss
  • Possible growth retardation (children and teens)
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue and/or low energy
  • Irregular hormone levels and menstrual cycles (women and girls)
  • Dehydration

Challenge 1 of 5

Test Your Knowledge

Eating the right foods is all you need to do to effectively manage IBD.

True
False

Challenge 1 of 5

Test Your Knowledge: Results

Sorry, but the correct answer is False.

That's correct!

A healthy diet can help you maintain good nutritional status and manage symptoms, but medications are recommended to effectively treat IBD. Work with your doctor, nutritionist or other health care provider to create the meal plan and treatment plan that are right for you. Learn more

Challenge 3 of 5

Tell Us About You

Which special diet(s) are you on (or have you been on)? (Check all that apply.)

Elimination diet Low-fiber with low-residue diet
The Colitis 5-Step Formula The Specific Carbohydrate Diet™
The Maker's Diet Total bowel rest
Elemental diet I've never tried one of the above special diets

Hear what nutritionist Sally Ritz has to say about special diets. Watch video

Challenge 3 of 5

Tell Us About You

It's important to remember that while many people have reported that certain diets have helped provide symptom relief, most have not been proven scientifically, and their benefits have not been shown in research studies. Always talk to your doctor or dietitian if you have questions about a particular diet or are considering trying one. Learn more about these diets.

Challenge 4 of 5

Get the Facts About Nutrition

Which of the following is true:

A. People with IBD are more prone to malnourishment due to loss of appetite, poor absorption of nutrients, and other factors.
B. Malnourishment can cause growth retardation in children and teens.
C. Good nutritional status can actually help medications work more effectively.
D. All of the above

Challenge 4 of 5

Get the Facts About Nutrition: Results

That's true!

That's correct!

And so are options B and C.

And so are options A and C.

And so are options A and B.

All of these are reasons why it's so important for people with IBD to maintain good nutritional status.

Learn more about the importance of good nutrition, and the relationship between food and IBD.

One more challenge to earn your Top Chef badge!

Challenge 5 of 5

Prove Your Dedication

Starting today, I will: (Check all that apply.)

Ask myself if I could be doing more to manage my IBD
Work with my doctor, a dietitian or a nutritionist to help me develop a meal plan that meets my nutritional needs
Learn more about food, special diet, and complementary therapy options, including the risks and benefits of each
Keep a Food Journal to recognize potential problematic foods, and make sure I'm maintaining a well-balanced, nutritious diet

Challenge 5 of 5

Prove Your Dedication

We are so glad you're being proactive in managing your IBD!

Start your Food Journal today, and make an appointment to create your customized IBD meal plan with your doctor or dietitian.

Maintaining a nutritious diet, and knowing which foods to avoid and which to include in your diet, may help you better manage your IBD and ease your symptoms. You might want to start a Food Journal to help you and your doctor or dietitian see if there are problematic foods in your diet, and if you’re meeting your nutrition needs. Also, consider working with your doctor or dietitian to develop a customized IBD meal plan.

Get Top Chef Badge

Congratulations!

You finished the Diet Journey and earned your Top Chef badge. To save your badge in your profile, please log in or register.

Get involved in CCFA programs and advocacy opportunities.

I Earned the Top Chef Badge
Login
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* Username:
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Nutritionist Insight

Sally Ritz discusses
the link between food and IBD.

Doctor Perspective

Dr. Jennifer Strople talks about the role of nutrition in managing IBD.

Be Inspired. Inspire Others.

Earn your badges, then share your experience with others living with IBD.

Complications

I'll Be Disciplined in doing all I can to effectively manage — and in some cases even prevent — IBD complications.

Your Complications Journey

Start your Complications Journey to learn more about IBD complications, rethink how they can affect you, and explore different ways to manage and reduce your risk of complications. Complete all five challenges along your journey to earn your Chief Navigator badge.

By the end of your journey, we hope you'll be disciplined in doing all you can to effectively manage — and in some cases even prevent — IBD complications.

start journey

Why Manage IBD Complications?

Complications of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) — which can involve the intestinal tract itself or other areas of the body — can interfere with your overall management of IBD, and in some cases, lead to serious consequences.

It's important to remember that not everyone with IBD will experience complications, and some of these events are very rare. However, early recognition, prompt treatment, and making efforts to reduce the risk of complications are important.

Benefits of managing IBD complications

Choosing to manage IBD complications may result in:

  • Better control of IBD symptoms
  • Improvement in complication-related symptoms
  • Reduced risk of serious, potentially life-threatening problems
  • Reduced risk of long-term, sometimes irreversible, conditions
  • Ability to manage your IBD more effectively

Risks of not  managing IBD complications

Choosing to not manage IBD complications may result in:

  • Worsened IBD symptoms
  • Persistent complication-related symptoms
  • Increased risk of serious, potentially life-threatening problems
  • Increased risk of long-term, sometimes irreversible, conditions
  • Inability to manage your IBD effectively

Challenge 1 of 5

Play the Matching Game

Some intestinal IBD complications are specific to Crohn's disease, and some are specific to ulcerative colitis (UC). Do you know the difference? Match the complication on the right with either Crohn’s or UC on the left. At the end, we’ll let you know how you did!


play

Challenge 1 of 5

Play the Matching Game

Crohn's UC Complications
Fistulas (abnormal passages connecting different parts of the intestine; caused by deep sores or ulcers in the intestinal tract)
Bowel perforation (rupture that causes a hole in the bowel)
Toxic megacolon (most serious complication of IBD; causes severe abdominal distension)
Intestinal obstruction (thickening of bowel wall and narrowing of intestinal passage)
Abscesses (localized pus pocket caused by bacterial infection)
Fulminant colitis (progressive severe inflammation causing damage to the entire colon)

Challenge 1 of 5

Play the Matching Game: Results

You Got
0 out of 6
Correct

Early detection and prompt treatment are the keys to managing complications. So make sure you learn as much as you can, and pay attention to any changes or symptoms of these complications.

Challenge 2 of 5

Myth or Fact?

If your IBD isn't active (not having symptoms), you don't have to worry about colorectal cancer.

Fact
Myth

Challenge 2 of 5

Myth or Fact? Results

Even if you're not experiencing symptoms, you're still at risk for colorectal cancer (CRC). It's important to see your doctor regularly and have routine tests to be sure there are no signs of cancer. Use our CRC Risk Discussion Guide to talk to your doctor about your individual risk for CRC.

Keep going. You're on your way to earning the Chief Navigator badge!

Challenge 3 of 5

Test Your Knowledge

Some medications can cause side effects that mimic IBD complications:

True
False

Challenge 3 of 5

Test Your Knowledge: Results

It is believed that most IBD complications are caused by an abnormal immune system response that triggers inflammation in the intestine and other parts of the body. However, some extraintestinal complications are caused by certain medications. Even though certain medications can have side effects in some people, it's important to weigh the benefits and risks of medications with your doctor.

Learn more about extraintestinal manifestations

Challenge 4 of 5

Tell Us About You

If you have colorectal cancer, where have you turned for support?
(Check all that apply.)

Friends and family
Doctor and other members of my health care team
Support groups in my area
Online support groups, chat rooms, forums, blogs, help lines
All of the above
Other
Not applicable

Challenge 4 of 5

Tell Us About You

We know how important it is to have a strong support system when living with colorectal cancer. Hear what Dr. David Rubin has to say about colorectal cancer, and get tips for coping. Watch video

You can also find support through the CCFA Community site and CCFA support groups.

One more challenge to earn your Chief Navigator badge!

Challenge 5 of 5

Prove Your Discipline

Starting today, I will: (Check all that apply.)

Stay on my IBD medication to help control inflammation
Maintain a healthy lifestyle
See my doctor regularly and keep up with my routine tests
Discuss the benefits and risks of medications with my doctor
Become aware of potential risk factors for colorectal cancer
Do what I can to detect complications early and treat them promptly

Challenge 5 of 5

Prove Your Discipline

Get the Chief Navigator Badge

Challenge 5 of 5

Congratulations!

You finished the Complications Journey and earned your Chief Navigator badge. To save your badge in your profile, please log in or register.

Get involved in CCFA programs and advocacy opportunities.

I Earned the Chief Navigator Badge
Login
* Required field
* Username:
* Password:

Be Inspired. Inspire Others.

Earn your badges, then share your experience with others living with IBD.

Quality of Life

I'll Be Deserving of a life dictated by me, not IBD.

Your Quality of Life Journey

Start your Quality of Life Journey to rethink how you're coping with IBD, learn more about the effects of IBD and what it means to live well, and explore tips and resources for coping. Answer some eye-opening questions along your journey, and you'll receive your Life Coach badge plus a Quality of Life Discussion Guide that can help you and your doctor take charge of IBD today!

By the end of your journey, we hope you'll be deserving of a life dictated by you, not IBD.

start journey

Why Take Charge of IBD?

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) can have a significant physical impact on individuals living with the condition.

The good news is, with the right IBD management plan and support system, you can take charge of IBD and focus on living the life you deserve.

Benefits of taking charge

Taking charge of IBD may help you:

  • Get through each day a little bit easier
  • Improve your emotional wellness
  • Feel more comfortable in social situations
  • Improve your self-esteem
  • Feel less stressed and frustrated
  • Enjoy intimacy with your loved one
  • Better manage flare-ups
  • Reduce your financial stress

Risks of not  taking charge

Not taking charge of IBD may lead to:

  • Frequently experiencing more challenging days
  • Emotional distress, possibly even depression
  • Uncomfortable social situations and missed social events
  • Lower self-esteem
  • Elevated stress and frustration levels
  • Intimacy issues
  • Inability to manage flare-ups effectively
  • More financial stress

Question 1 of 6

Do your IBD symptoms interfere with your daily responsibilities or tasks?
(e.g., frequent bathroom breaks or absences at work or school, distraction due to painful flare-ups)

Always
Often
Sometimes
Never

The best way to cope with IBD is to seek effective treatment. Work with your doctor to create a treatment plan that’s right for you. If you’re not satisfied with your current treatment, talk to your doctor about other options.

Question 2 of 6

How does IBD make you feel emotionally/mentally?
(Check all that apply.)

Isolated   Sad   Stressed None of the above
Embarrassed   Depressed   Anxious
Helpless   Frustrated   Overwhelmed
Guilty   Angry   I don't let IBD get me down  

It's important to understand that these feelings are perfectly normal. And the better you can manage your IBD symptoms, the better you'll be able to cope with these feelings.

Keep going. You're on your way to getting your  Life Coach badge and discussion guide!

Question 3 of 6

How does IBD affect your relationships?
(Check all that apply.)

I've distanced myself from family or friends
I find myself avoiding coworkers, and even social and professional opportunities at work or school
I can't be as intimate as I'd like to be with my loved one
I have to miss out on some of my kids' activities
My family feels helpless; they don't know how to support me
Sometimes the pain and frustration of IBD is overwhelming, and I take it out on my family
IBD has made my relationships stronger
None of the above

Question 4 of 6

To avoid public embarrassment and uncomfortable situations, you often:
(Check all that apply.)

Avoid going out   Skip meals to avoid symptoms
Decline social invitations   Plan an "escape" in case a flare hits
Map out the nearest public restrooms   Avoid traveling
Carry an extra change of clothes   I don't get embarrassed by my IBD
None of the above  

It's inevitable that at some point, you'll have flare-ups while you're away from home. But that doesn't have to stop you from living your life. Talk to your doctor about your treatment options. And for peace of mind, be prepared before heading out for the day or traveling.

Question 5 of 6

Where have you turned to for support in coping with IBD?

 
Doctor   Online support communities
Therapist   Family and friends
Local support groups   I'm not seeking support for coping with IBD
Other

One more question to get your  Life Coach badge and discussion guide!

Question 6 of 6

Starting today, what will you do to help control symptoms and take charge of IBD?
(Check all that apply.)

Talk to my doctor about a treatment plan that helps me better manage my IBD symptoms
Educate my family and friends about IBD so they better understand what I'm going through and how to support me
Seek support from a therapist
Join a local support group
Join the CCFA Community to learn more about living well with IBD, and to connect with people like me
Become an advocate for myself and others living with IBD

Results

get Life Coach Badge

Congratulations!

You finished the Quality of Life Journey and earned your Life Coach badge. To save your badge in your profile, please log in or register.

Get involved in CCFA programs and advocacy opportunities.

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Be Inspired. Inspire Others.

Earn your badges, then share your experience with others living with IBD.

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A closer look at managing inflammatory bowel diseases

The I’ll Be Determined Journeys are a series of challenges that can help you better manage Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Your journeys will help you:

  • Learn more about IBD and your choices in managing it
  • See the ways IBD may be affecting you
  • Gain perspective on a variety of IBD topics from patients and experts in the field

Plus, you will be invited to join THE WALL — a place where you can share your thoughts and see what others are saying.

Select a journey below to get started. What you learn on your journeys might surprise you!