11 Ways That Crohn’s And Colitis Can Feel Like Invisible Diseases

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ore than 1.6 million Americans live with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. They may look healthy on the outside, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t in pain.

These are what's known as invisible illnesses, and they present unique challenges to people who live with them.

These are what’s known as invisible illnesses, and they present unique challenges to people who live with them.

1. In many ways, Crohn’s and colitis are invisible illnesses and present unique challenges to those living with them.

When family, friends, or colleagues can’t see physical evidence of a disease, they sometimes question its legitimacy. People with Crohn’s and colitis are used to hearing “It must be in your head!” when they may be in debilitating pain.

2. These diseases can have a huge impact on a person’s mental health.

Crohn’s and colitis patients have a higher rate of depression than those without it, and it may go undiagnosed and/or untreated. On top of that, patients might also experience feelings of guilt, uncertainty, anxiety, isolation, and general stress as a result of their disease.

3. Not to mention people with Crohn’s and colitis may suffer from debilitating fatigue…

For some patients, this is the worst of the invisible symptoms they could experience. On super-bad days, even walking from one room to another can be too much. Fatigue can be so harsh that studies have shown IBD patients consider it as problematic as their stomach troubles.

4. …as well as crippling pain, both in and out of the gut.

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