toilet with tissues coming out like a tissue box

Crohn's Disease and The Common Cold

So, it's happened. As the leaves fell on the ground and my calendar slowly flipped over to October, I managed to land my very first cold of the season. Being regular people sick (aka having a cold) combined with a chronic illness is not fun. Let's talk about why...

Our immune systems suck because of Crohn's

Actually, last year when I got my first cold, I was really proud of how quickly I managed to fight it off. But this year, post-baby, this cold has gone on forever and ever and then some. And because so many of us with Crohn's take immunosuppressants and also struggle with a condition where the immune system is already well occupied trying to attack itself, it's really not the best at getting rid of a cold. So they can linger and linger...

No time to deal with a common cold on top of everything else

I am a pretty impatient person, so I get really frustrated when I come down with a cold; because I feel like I'm already throwing all my energies into dealing with my full-time illness thank you very much! And you can bet a cold emerges just when your belly is actually behaving itself; leaving us unable to enjoy a bit of respite. Sometimes you feel like you really don't have the energy to deal with another illness, even if it is only just a few days.

The cold medication makes us feel worse

I avoid cold and flu remedies because when you read the small print, so MANY have a 'natural laxative effect'; due to ingredients like caffeine and sweeteners. So we're faced with a choice: get rid of the sniffles and spend the day on the toilet, or just grin and bear it? If we come down with a bacterial infection like Strep throat, antibiotics can make us feel even worse still since they can also cause diarrhea.

Is it just me or does a cold mean more toilet trips?

Actually, I know it's not just me. Having a cold can actually cause diarrhea; since we sometimes get diarrhea to 'flush out' nasty bugs that you get with a cold (like we need any help with that department!). Of course, it can send our immune system haywire too; which means all our body's energy goes to fighting a cold and away from the digestive system. I've even read it could potentially trigger a flare-up. So chances are that if we're sneezing away, we're probably not far from a toilet either.

Having a cold is a chance to rest

One of the few things about a cold is it usually is not invisible. People can see us sneeze and hear us cough. We look rubbish and for once, it actually shows! So, for some odd reason, it's often easier to ask for time off and a chance to rest for a bad cold than it is for autoimmune disease. And, the fact everyone is terrified of getting it too, means they'll often encourage us to take the day off, cancel plans and simply rest. So, if nothing else, I shall certainly be taking advantage of that!

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