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Why IBD Awareness Matters!

Why should we care to spread awareness on IBD? Is it really that important?

Yes, it absolutely is!

Why, you ask?

Many people do not understand IBD

Because without awareness, change cannot occur. Without the spreading of information, people will remain ignorant about the realities of this horrendous disease. Knowledge is power. And although that saying cannot be more cliché, it is a simple truth.

The common population does not know about IBD and its effects on the patient suffering from it. But through awareness, we can open the eyes of the public and educate, so that compassion and knowledge towards the disease can increase.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is not just about running to the bathroom and having bad stomach aches. It is an Autoimmune Disease which wreaks havoc on so many areas of the body, not just the intestines.

It is a disease that can be fatal especially if surgical intervention is needed. The effects this disease has on mental and emotional health are outstanding. Depression and anxiety play colossal rolls in IBD and it is crucial that this is understood from the moment a patient is diagnosed.

IBD can affect many different areas of the body

IBD can affect your genitals, eyes, joints, mouth, and skin in ways that are unimaginable. It is a disease that is unforgiving, ruthless and chronic.

Yes, it is hard for the common man to understand someone suffering from Chronic Illness because from the outside it may seem like the patient is “okay.” But really he or she is suffering daily and mustering up every ounce of strength they have to attend your gathering or appointment.

Chronic illness is a long-term sickness that is without a cure. It is a journey that has many ups and downs, and you can imagine how mentally and emotionally draining this is can be.

It may appear that someone with IBD is okay, but they are not

And so it is important for the general public to understand that although someone with IBD may appear to be okay, they most certainly are not. Their body is constantly fighting over-drive on the inside, and simultaneously fighting to keep it together on the outside.

If you know someone with IBD, always offer a lending hand. Help clean their house one day. Offer to do the dishes, or clean their bathroom or vacuum their floors. See if they would like you to do groceries for them, or take clothes for dry cleaning. Do they need a ride to a doctor’s appointment or perhaps elsewhere? Just offer compassion and help when at all possible because IBD sucks out energy 24/7. And what a healthy person may deem as a simple task suddenly becomes close to impossible for someone with IBD.

IBD is more than just a bathroom disease

Overall, just know that IBD is more than just bad tummy aches and is very different from IBS. It is a horrific disease, that involves mind-twisting pain, debilitating fatigue, extra-intestinal manifestations that include skin infection, mouth sores, eye infections, and to top it off unimaginable mental and emotional depletion.

But with IBD awareness, and with more people understanding the severity of IBD, change towards misconceptions of the disease are more than possible, which eases the burden of those who are suffering with it.

So keep sharing information, keep pushing for awareness and change; so that with time, correct understanding of IBD will trump silly misconceptions and myths which do nothing but hurt those suffering.

This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The InflammatoryBowelDisease.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

Comments

  • Julie Marie Palumbo moderator
    4 months ago

    This is a great article, and so true!! Thank you for pointing out that it is more than just a bathroom disease (mine is NEVER that!)
    And, I think it is important for others to know that those who are suffering may not look like it from the outside. I have had many nurses come up to me when I was admitted to the hospital say “You can’t be the patient, you look too good!” and it would drive me crazy because I was very, very ill at that point.
    Thank you for putting this out there!
    –Julie (Team Member)

  • thedancingcrohnie moderator author
    4 months ago

    I can so relate! I had a GI once tell me that when I was in the ER. It can be really frustrating.

    So glad you enjoyed the post!

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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