Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic disease that includes ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Symptoms of IBD include severe cramps, diarrhea and weight loss. These symptoms can be painful and are not curable, but there are treatments that can put the symptoms into remission. IBD can affect someone’s life greatly, and it’s important for people around them to understand their condition and support them.

One way to support someone with IBD is to be aware of their privacy. Health conditions can be very personal and some people don’t always feel comfortable discussing every detail. Be understanding and let them share only what they want to. Some people may feel embarrassed and isolate themselves in fear of having symptoms at the wrong time.

If your friend or family member has Crohn’s or colitis, be emotionally supportive of them by being there and listening to them. Having IBD can be draining mentally and physically, so be understanding when that person can’t attend certain events or cancels plans. Being there for a loved one with IBD will make a big difference in their life.

Read more about how to support someone with IBD