There are many things that only a woman who suffers from inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) will experience. Some are amusing, some are frustrating and some are just plain annoying. How many of these can you relate to?
It takes time for doctors to take your symptoms seriously.
As Hattie Gladwell mentions on metro.co.uk, women are often told they’re mistaking their IBD symptoms (including rectal bleeding!) for menstruation pains or their period. Similarly, she comments on how it’s perfectly OK for men to talk about passing wind and bowel movements, while people tend to frown when women bring up the same subjects.
People offer you magical cures.
You suddenly find yourself the center of attention for many people in multi-level marketing, who want you to buy their product because it will certainly cure you of your ills, as Gladwell also explains.
You’re an expert at finding restrooms.
According to Sam Cleasby, IBD sufferers almost always develop a sixth sense for hunting down bathroom facilities.
IBD affects much more than your stomach.
Diseases such as ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease affect a patient’s entire life. In addition to dealing with bathroom issues, many IBD patients will suffer fatigue, joint ache, side effects from medications, and skin problems, as Alibhe Malone describes.
You have to plan your outfits carefully.
As Caitlyn Pilkington explains in Women’s Running, black capri pants become the go-to outfit during flares. We bet most IBD sufferers have trusty black outfits in their wardrobes.
People will talk about your weight way too often.
If you’re getting over a flare, you’ll probably have people casually mentioning your moon face or the fact that you’ve suddenly put on weight. When you’re very ill and can barely eat, people will compliment you on your weight loss, as Cleasby points out in this article for Rowlands Pharmacy.
There will always be pain comparisons.
As Hattie points out, painful periods, irritable bowel syndrome and generally feeling tired are all common health complaints that are regularly compared (unfairly) to the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.
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