You may hear yourself thinking, “What did I do? I must have done something wrong,” or “Why did it happen? Too much red meat? Did I get this disease because I smoked?”

Many who have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis think it is their fault that they got the disease. That’s simply not true. Stop blaming yourself!

You have it. What matters now?

Your diagnosis will never change, but that does mean you are helpless.

A healthy lifestyle will help you once you have Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis. It may help with the inflammation you experience, but you did not do anything to cause it in the first place.

Approximately 20% of those with IBD, have had a family member with the disease. But, IBD isn’t only genetic. 

Changes to Make

In Crohn’s, smoking aggravates the inflammation, heightens the need for surgery, heightens the likelihood that surgery will be unsuccessful in eliminating the disease, and also heightens the chance of the disease coming back after remission. Quitting smoking won’t cure your Crohn’s but it will help in the long run.

One of the biggest changes you can make is living a healthy lifestyle. Eat healthy meals, go to the gym, get a full 8 hours of sleep. Rule of thumb? Eliminate simple carbs, starting with processed foods, fast foods, and processed sugar (i.e. sodas and candies). Of course the disease won’t go away, it may feel that way though.

What’s the best diet IBD?

Genetics isn’t behind the increased cases of IBD. Unfortunately, the environment plays a huge role and the changes in the microbiome related to diet.

The microbiome changes may be related to carbs, processed foods, emulsifiers — all of which lead to a proinflammatory state. 

Diet isn’t the only important thing to consider for those with IBD, but if you limit your carb intake and eat clean foods that eliminate processed foods, it certainly helps.

You won’t get 100% better, but you will feel better. You may even need to take less medications.