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The Thanksgiving Feast

As we dawn on Thanksgiving, a few things come to mind. Food, football, family, and fun! When having Crohn’s and Colitis, we have to remember a few other things to make sure that our holiday runs smoothly. I have had Crohn’s for eleven years. I feel that I prepare very well, but I always seem to run into complications. The first thing that I always think about is: Where am I spending Thanksgiving? I always wish that my parents make Thanksgiving dinner, because I know that the bathrooms are going to be readily accessible and that they would be clean. I also know that the foods they make would be friendly on my stomach. It’s when I travel to other houses that I run into a problem.

The pressure

Holidays put a lot of peer pressure on us. We are tempted to eat foods that we are not used to; foods that put a damper on our Crohn’s. You know how it goes. You sit around the table and everyone is digging into the foods. You don’t want to be rude and say “nah, I don’t want to try your wonderful food.” In the back of your mind, you are thinking how it will mess up your stomach, but you try it anyway. The other aspect is the drinking. Once again, we could be put into the “peer pressure” situation where people want to take shots at the table, have you try their favorite craft beer, or taste their homemade wine. So how do we handle this?

Contact the host

I make it a habit to call the host or hostess. I call them a few weeks out, just to let them know how appreciative I am that they invited me to their Thanksgiving dinner. After I get through the initial conversation, I bring up that I have IBD and that there are some foods and drinks that I would like to stay away from so that our dinner can by go seamlessly. I would suggest that offering a dish that you can bring that is IBD friendly for yourself so that your host or hostess doesn’t have to make it on top of the million other things they are making. This shows gratitude and understanding. I have never had a problem when doing this.

Plan for a bathroom

In terms of the bathroom, I would ask the host or hostess if there is a back bathroom, away from the guest one. This would give you privacy and a sense of calmness. If they don’t answer you, or you can tell that the conversation is fading, suggest that you can show up early and clean the bathroom before and after! I bet you that would work!  So this upcoming holiday, remember these tips:

  • Don’t fall into peer pressure that is going to make your Crohn’s go crazy.
  • Give your host or hostess a heads up.
  • Give your host or hostess options about the bathroom (you might think this is weird, but it works).
  • Have a great holiday!

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


  • thedancingcrohnie moderator
    6 months ago

    These are great tips! Thanks for sharing.

    Always dancing,
    Elizabeth (team member)

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