Will I speak to someone about their experiences of living with Crohn's or Colitis?
Our helpline officers speak to many people with Crohn’s and Colitis so understand your questions or worries that you might have. We can help you to find support from others affected by Crohn's or Colitis through our Virtual Social Events, Local Networks and Facebook Forum.
What kind of questions can I ask?
It’s natural to have lots of questions when you’re living with a life-long condition. There are no silly questions. We understand it can be hard to talk about some things, including poo, but we’re here to help - it takes guts to talk about Crohn’s and Colitis.
Some examples of common questions we're asked include:
“I’m experiencing symptoms that I’m worried could be Crohn’s or Colitis. What should I do?”
“I’m confused about what to eat during a flare, can you help?”
“I’m looking to apply for PIP, is this something I am eligible for?”
“What can I do if I am struggling with fatigue?”
“How can I speak to other people living with the conditions?”
What you can expect from our Helpline Officers
Our Helpline Officers can provide you with up-to-date, evidence-based information. We have experience of supporting many people affected by Crohn’s or Colitis. We will give you the time and space to talk through any questions.
We’re here for everyone affected by Crohn’s and Colitis, regardless of ethnicity, age, disability, gender, sexual orientation, religion or belief. We are committed to equality, diversity and inclusion.
What we can expect from people using the Helpline
We will not tolerate any discriminatory language or behaviour.
We will not tolerate abusive or discriminatory language or behaviour towards our Helpline Officers.
In the event that this occurs we reserve the right to terminate the call or LiveChat.
Calls to the helpline may be recorded to monitor the quality of our service and support the training of our staff. Call recordings will be deleted after 45 days.
Can I speak to someone medically trained when I contact you?
We’re not medically trained so we won't be able to answer individual or specific medical questions. Your IBD team or GP are best placed to provide guidance specific to you.
Can I speak to someone about financial or legal advice?
We don’t have anyone trained in giving legal or financial advice. We will try to signpost you to the appropriate services to help.
What if I can’t get through?
Our opening hours are 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (except English bank holidays). We may need to close for up to an hour for essential staff meetings.
If we’re closed, you can leave a voicemail message and we’ll call back as soon as possible.
You can email us at any time, and we aim to reply within three working days.
What happens if I leave a voicemail message?
We will call you back as soon as possible during helpline opening hours. We will call from a withheld number and will try to return your call twice. We will not leave you a voicemail message for confidentiality. We will only speak to the person who left the message with us.
Phone call charges
The cost of calling our helpline will depend on your phone provider and whether you use a landline or mobile. You can find out about the cost of calling 0300 numbers from GOV.UK or check with your phone provider.
Can I get a copy of the LiveChat transcript?
After the chat session has closed, you’ll be asked if you’d like a transcript of the conversation to be sent to you by email. You will need to add your email address if you wish to receive this.
What happens if my internet connection fails temporarily and I lose my LiveChat, can I come back?
Sometimes our connection may get broken. You can start a new chat but do let the officer know you have just lost connection. They can transfer the chat to the same officer if they are still available.
What to do if I need urgent medical advice and I can’t contact my IBD team?
If you need urgent medical advice, you can contact NHS 111. Call 999 or go to your nearest A&E in an emergency.
What if I’m calling from outside the UK?
You can contact us outside of the UK although our information might not be relevant to your country. We will not be able to call you back on an international number if you contact us.
My test results have found 'Colitis' is this the same as Ulcerative Colitis?
The term ‘Colitis’ by itself is a general term meaning inflammation in the colon – so if your endoscopy finds inflammation but no ulcers, your inflamed colon may be caused by something other than Ulcerative Colitis.
If you see terms like ‘nonspecific Colitis’ or ‘Ischemic Colitis’ on your endoscopy report, you do not have a form of IBD - these are different conditions to Ulcerative Colitis. Charities like Guts UK may be able to support you further with living with these conditions.
About our helpline
We provide up-to-date, evidence-based information and can support you to live well with Crohn’s or Colitis.
We know it can be difficult to live with, or support someone living with these conditions. But you’re not alone. We provide up-to-date, evidence-based information and can support you to live well with Crohn’s or Colitis.
Our helpline team can help by:
Providing information about Crohn’s and Colitis.
Listening and talking through your situation.
Helping you to find support from others in the Crohn’s and Colitis community.
Signposting you to specialist organisations.
Please be aware we’re not medically or legally trained. We cannot provide detailed financial or benefits advice or specialist emotional support.
Please contact us via telephone, email or LiveChat - 9am to 5pm, Monday to Friday (except English bank holidays).