Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) — either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis — affects around 3.1 million adults in the United States. Crohn's disease causes the digestive tract to become inflamed, which may eventually result in abdominal pain, fatigue, diarrhea, and weight loss.
Although the exact cause of Crohn's disease remains unclear, researchers suspect that a malfunctioning immune system and a family history of the disease could play a role. Crohn's disease can be painful and debilitating, and in some cases, it may lead to complications that are life-threatening.
At present, there is no cure for Crohn's disease. However, there are therapies that can reduce its symptoms. With the right treatment, many individuals with Crohn's disease can lead near-normal lives and function well.
The condition not only has a physical impact but an emotional one, too. Crohn's disease blogs can provide valuable information, emotional support, and discussions of the latest findings in Crohn's disease research. Here are Medical News Today's choices of the 10 best Crohn's disease blogs.
Inflamed and Untamed
Sara Ringer created the blog Inflamed and Untamed in 2011. She has Crohn's disease and a rare condition called chronic intestinal pseudo obstruction. Sara says that although she has neither a colon nor a rectum, she does have a passion for spreading accurate information and awareness about the condition with which she lives.
Through Inflamed and Untamed, Sara's mission is to help others who are also living with chronic illness. She presents useful information on her conditions in an easy-to-understand way and aims to teach, inspire, and be a voice for others when they feel as though they do not have one.
Inflamed and Untamed shares educational articles and snippets of Sara's story of living with chronic illness. Posts on the blog include whether you can ride roller coasters with a port-a-cath or power port, a travel guide for people traveling with total parenteral nutrition, and an honest discussion about living with Crohn's disease.
Lights Camera Crohn's
Natalie Hayden writes the blog Lights Camera Crohn's. She is a former television news anchor who lives in St Louis, MO. Natalie received her diagnosis of Crohn's disease in 2005. After a number of hospital visits, numerous medications, and several flare-ups, she underwent her first surgical procedure in 2015.
Natalie's mission is to be an advocate for individuals living with IBD and to illustrate that having a chronic illness does not have to "dull your sparkle." Her blog covers anything and everything, from overcoming the struggles associated with Crohn's disease to the small victories that you can celebrate along the way.
Recent posts on Lights Camera Crohn's include how yoga can help to calm Crohn's disease, why a Tampa Bay news anchor decided to go public about her personal Crohn's disease story, and a mother's tips on how to cope with your child's Crohn's disease diagnosis.
ImproveCareNow were founded in 2007 to transform the health and care of children and teenagers with IBD by creating a collaborative care network. ImproveCareNow are helping individuals, families, researchers, and clinicians to work together to accelerate research, innovation, and the application of knowledge.
Since they began, ImproveCareNow have increased the number of young people with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in remission. They have achieved this by collecting data, monitoring performance, comparing outcomes, and sharing tools and evidence to help people with IBD to stay healthier for longer.
The blog includes articles such as Kajal's account of choosing the path of resilience after her Crohn's diagnosis and not letting her illness define her, Becky's lead-up to a diverting loop ileostomy, and how Natalie manages to remain active and not let Crohn's take control.
It Could Be Worse Blog
Mary Horsley is a 28-year-old Crohn's disease warrior. She was finally diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 2016, after 2 years of hospital tests and follow-up visits.
Mary writes about her experience of Crohn's disease on the It Could Be Worse Blog. She says that she enjoys sharing her journey with other "invisible illness warriors" and lives every day to find the positive, because "it could be worse."
The latest posts on the blog include Mary's account of her last Entyvio infusion, advice on what to keep in your Crohn's disease essentials kit and emergency kit, and the triumphs that can sometimes arise from chronic disease.
Sweetened by Nature
Jamie Horrigan is a medical student and was diagnosed with Crohn's disease and gastroparesis in 2016, after having gastrointestinal problems for as long as she can remember.
Jamie explains that although her battle with Crohn's disease has not been all sunshine and rainbows, she has found significant relief from using the Autoimmune Paleo Diet. She believes that diet is the root of several chronic health illnesses, and that what you eat can help to prevent and manage many diseases.
The Sweetened by Nature blog shares both Jamie's day-to-day life stories and recipes to empower her readers and help them to take control of their lives and improve their health. Some posts include recipes for homemade blueberry muffin Larabars and nut-free Paleo chocolate chip cookies, and tips for success in college when you have a chronic disease.
Crohnie Travels: Navigating the World with Crohn's Disease
The blogger known only as the Crohnie Traveler writes the blog Crohnie Travels, and they were diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 1993 at the age of 13. The Crohnie Traveler was sent from the doctor's office to the hospital immediately, where they received back-to-back blood transfusions.
The Crohnie Traveler began their blog to support others going through similar situations and help guide them to seek out their own path to recovery. Through the blog, the Crohnie Traveler navigates the world with IBD and explores natural healing techniques including meditation, yoga, acupuncture, stress management, diet, and supplements.
Some recent posts on the Crohnie Travels blog are what happens when you are in a new country and experience a flare-up, the airport shuffle that those with IBD dance while looking for food before a flight, and five tips to look after yourself when stressed out with Crohn's disease.
Crohn's Disease: Leaving the Seat Down
Vernon Laine is the creator of the blog Leaving the Seat Down. He received his Crohn's disease diagnosis in 1988, after several months, many doctors, and numerous days and nights of lying in the fetal position from intense pain.
Leaving the Seat Down discusses living with Crohn's disease in a frank and humorous way. Vernon gives an honest account and says that he will not hold anything back, so be prepared to hear information that you may not necessarily enjoy.
Vernon's latest blog posts include news of his 47th Remicade infusion, what the faces of Crohn's disease look like, and the surprising places that technicians may try to put gel during an MRI appointment.
Ali On The Run
Alison Feller — a writer, editor, and marathon runner who lives in New York City, NY — is behind the blog Ali On The Run. She was diagnosed with Crohn's disease when she was 7 years old.
In recent years, Alison's Crohn's disease worsened, which forced her onto medical leave from her job for some time. She explains that she has tried all the treatments, medications, and diets out there, but although some have given a slight improvement, none of the improvements have been long-term.
Alison runs a podcast called the Ali On The Run Show, and her most recent episode is with Kara Goucher, who is a professional distance runner. She also includes personal accounts, such as a reflection on 7 years of blogging and what she has learned from being part of a patient advisory board.
The Stolen Colon
The Stolen Colon is the creation of Stephanie Hughes. She was diagnosed with Crohn's disease in 1999, at the age of 13 years old. Stephanie explains that after years of trying to cope with painful and embarrassing symptoms, she had her colon removed in 2012 and was given a permanent ostomy.
Stephanie has tried many treatments, including new and intense medications as well as acupuncture and strict diets. She says that having surgery gave her life back, and that she no longer has to live with daily pain, worry, or exhaustion — all of which she dealt with for years.
Stephanie has just welcomed her daughter Chandler Marie to her family, and she discusses labor and delivery with an ostomy, bowel obstruction during pregnancy, and how to dress when pregnant with an ostomy.
Girl in Healing
Alexa Federico is the voice behind the Girl in Healing. She is a student of nutritional therapy and has first-hand experience of what it is like to live with a debilitating chronic illness such as Crohn's disease.
Alexa shares some techniques that she has found to help her cope with the condition, in the hope that the knowledge she has gained will help others. She aims to teach individuals with Crohn's disease how to rely on food and lifestyle changes rather than solely on medication to aid their healing journey.
Girl in Healing articles include health in Crohn's posts, such as 11 activities to do when you are experiencing a chronic pain flare-up and how to help people with chronic illness when they feel guilt, as well as recipes including grain-free cherry amaretto cookies.