Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) doesn’t generally come up in polite conversation, yet an estimated 1.4 million people in the U.S. have it. IBD is a broad category of inflammatory diseases of the bowel that are most often categorized as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Caucasian people in developed countries are more likely to develop IBD between the ages of 15 and 25 (although younger and older diagnoses do occur), and men and women are equally likely to be affected.
We think that IBD deserves equal time and attention! Here are our top ten websites that address the tricky problem of gut health.
Dr. Axe’s ultra-informative website pulls no punches in its attack on the leaky gut. The focus is laser sharp and targets how you can use food to heal a leaky gut. He points out all the ways that we damage and inflame our gut every day with food choices that aggravate the stomach and lead to issues all over the body (like depression and skin rashes). But he doesn’t stop there. His site is full of nutritional recommendations to get the healing process started, following a four- step system to remove harmful foods, replace with healing foods, repair with supplementation, and rebalance with probiotics. His recipe section is extensive and includes multiple dietary options with specific recipe categories as well.
2. I Have UC
…but it doesn’t have Adam, the creator of this international website designed as a support system for those with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Adam has an extensive collection of videos for support, writes a weekly newsletter, and collects nearly 2,000 “happy stories” of life after diagnosis. The positive nature of this website makes it one of our favorites!
They say laughter is good medicine, and this website proves that to be true. Their tagline is “Making Crohn’s and colitis cool – since 2010,” and they work hard to live up to that, selling T-shirts like “Ask me about my Crohn’s disease” to spark the conversation about life with a serious gut issue. But they aren’t just about T-shirts. This website has some serious awareness and education built in with sections on IBD clinical drug trials and IBD resources with everything from doctors to nutrition information. Come for the humor, but stay for the good information and support.
The Gutless Cyclist is the tongue-in-cheek website started and maintained by a 28-year-old cyclist who has been living with Crohn’s since age 11. In 2009 he had an emergency ileostomy, and he chronicles not only his surgery and recovery but also the training plans and results of the races he continues to enter. He doesn’t let his J-pouch slow him down, even posting sweaty, post-ride, “swimsuit-type” photos of himself to show how it looks.
Sara is the sassy author of this blog that combines dark humor, light humor, her own story, and the occasional celebrity pop-in on her Youtube channel. Sara’s alter ego is Gut Girl, a superhero who wears her (men’s) underwear on the outside and a colon on her headband. Her mission is to take life with no colon less seriously and to encourage anyone with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis to live their fullest, best life possible. In addition to the silliness, her blogs contain helpful information on all aspects of Crohn’s disease. Inflamed and Untamed was voted one of the top blogs for Crohn’s disease in 2014 by Healthline.
6. Jenni’s Guts
While comparing your situation to someone else’s is often a losing proposition, take a moment to appreciate the fact that Jenni is still using humor to deal with a diagnosis of fibromyalgia, severe depression, and Crohn’s disease. Yet she manages to share her story and still have a heading of “Random Funny Stuff.” Our favorite part of this might be her top ten things not to say to someone with IBD.
Juicing for Crohns is a straightforward blog that helps the reader use juicing to rebalance and repair the damage to the gut. Nicholas Hayden was able to wean himself off 20+ pills a day by juicing. He does stress the importance of talking with your doctor about the potential for juice and gut health and offers delicious, easy recipes, recommendations for juicers, and plenty of anecdotal evidence to support his claims. Worth a look!
This site is a Facebook page with nearly 4,500 active members. One of the hardest parts about living with IBD is how isolating and potentially embarrassing it can be. Social media like Facebook can offer those with IBD a place to get answers and support when symptoms flare up. The group is closed, but you can request to join.
This online (soon to be in print) magazine offers support, information, and advice columns tailored specifically to IBD sufferers. Their mission is “Bringing the IBD community together, one story at a time.” This magazine is filled with real people, telling their stories and living their lives. Each issue also features advice on things like how to survive the holidays in the hospital and stay glamorous with an ostomy bag. The stories are real and well-written. You might just find a kindred spirit here.
This is a Youtube channel with tons of helpful information about things that you may be nervous to talk to someone about. The creator of the channel started it to help others going through the trials and tribulations of ulcerative colitis, both as a documentary of her own journey and a catalogue of helpful ideas. The channel is unfailingly upbeat and positive, and the information is vital and easy to understand. We love this channel for the frank and honest way the creator deals with all of the issues that arose for her with her diagnosis and eventual surgery.
If you suffer from IBD, what are some of your favorite places online to get information, support, and a laugh or two?
Image by Hey Paul Studios via Flickr