At Crohn’s & Colitis UK, we know that looking after your wellbeing can have a huge impact on how you cope with your condition. This World IBD Day falls at a time when our health and wellbeing are challenged more than ever, so we wanted to bring you practical, research-led tips to support you to stay well.
Over the past ten years we have invested £1.63m into research investigating the relationship between Crohn’s and Colitis and wellbeing, both mental and physical. Whilst we also fund studies that are trying to find a cure for these diseases in the future, we are dedicated to supporting research that can improve the lives of people today. We have sponsored studies that look at sexual health, those exploring what causes fatigue, whether depression is linked to flares, the effects of exercise on Crohn's or Colitis, how to manage pain, and many more.
An important study in this field was undertaken by Professor Bernie Carter, who spoke to young people about how they cope with their condition.
She found that although they found talking about their condition was tough, once they did, their friends and family supported them and communication helped them to connect. If you would like tips and guidance about how to speak to people about your illness, check out It Takes Guts and Bernie’s fantastic resources.
Young people talked of the importance of friends and keeping in touch with them as being important factors for feeling accepted, connected, and more positive about life. Symptoms such as fatigue and pain often meant missing out on education or taking part in some activities with their friends. They valued keeping in touch with friends by phone or through social media.
We know that many of you have already faced the challenges that coronavirus presents, such as working from home and social isolation, as a result of Crohn's or Colitis and Bernie suggests that you use the tools you have worked hard to gain to keep connected with loved ones and maintain your mental wellbeing at this difficult time.
Throughout the day, we will be bringing you more useful tips and videos from other researchers whose work has been dedicated to the scientific analysis of what really helps people feel well.