11 Things You should Avoid telling to Someone With Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis

11 Things You should Avoid telling to Someone With Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis

Every day is a challenge when you live with Crohn’s disease, Ulcerative Colitis, or any other inflammatory bowel disease. These diseases cause embarrassing symptoms like frequent diarrhea, bleeding, and fatigue. At a certain point when the condition worsens, the patients start losing weight during a flare-up and suddenly gain it all back. An immense attack on the digestive tract can be the cause and it results in severe abdominal pain and chronic bloody diarrhea. 

Already in pain, discussing these chronic diseases can lead to awkward questions and hurting comments. While you cannot help them in easing their pain, you can simply avoid putting them in an uneasy situation by not asking/saying certain things. There are 11 things not to say to someone with ulcerative colitis.


  1. You don’t look that sick!:

    Like many other chronic illnesses,, Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis can be called an invisible illness. People suffering from such diseases look fine outside, but it takes every bit of their strength just to get through the day. They deal with immense pain, bleeding, fatigue, frequent toilet visits, and smile while they feel terrible inside. Ulcerative Colitis affects every individual differently, and telling them they don’t look sick, leaves them feeling dismissed about their disease. Instead, try asking how they are doing. Even the smallest gesture can make them feel cared for.

  2. Can you hold it for a while?:

    When a person with Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis says they need to use the washroom, just listen to them. Help them find the nearest washroom as soon as possible and never ask them “Why can’t you just hold it?”. One of the biggest fears of any ulcerative colitis patient is getting stuck in the traffic. Such situations can be mortifying and humiliating for them.

  3. Avoid spicy food:

    This might be something they have tried. The type of food consumed during the flare-ups can trigger certain symptoms. But there is no proven evidence that a certain diet can cure IBD. Moreover, people suffering from IBD already have a clear plan for a healthy and balanced diet.

  4. Are you sure you can eat that?:

    There’s no ‘fits all’ diet for everyone with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. Some patients can do fine even with spicy foods while for a few, certain fruits & vegetables can also be a no-no. Different foods act differently for different people, and thus it’s more like trial & error for each individual and they have to see what suits them the best.Crohn's Disease or Ulcerative Colitis

  5. How did you get it?:

    The exact cause of IBD is unknown, and a mixture of various factors is considered to be the reason. Along with diet, stress, genetics or an abnormal immune system are to be blamed. So don’t be simply judgemental when someone says they have IBD.

  6. You were normal yesterday:

    One who doesn’t go through it won’t understand it. IBD symptoms change day to day, sometimes within hours. It doesn’t make them a bad or a flaky person. Pushing through the day might seem impossible. Sometimes, they just need to lay in bed and be close to the bathroom.

  7. Ah! Such an easy way to lose weight:

    While the patient gets to be skinny, and not worry about gaining weight, they have to worry about pooping themselves in public. Many a time, the weight loss is caused due to flare-ups and is accompanied by severe abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea.loose weight - Highcarbhealth

  8. You look tired:

    When someone with IBD says they are tired of going out or attending an event, just let them rest. They are not avoiding, they are tired indeed. Understand that ulcerative colitis is a serious disease and drains out energy leaving them wiped out.   

  9. You must be stressed:

    Stress is usually mistaken as the only cause of inflammatory bowel diseases. Even though stress and tension can worsen the symptoms, there is no evidence that it causes Crohn’s or Colitis.       

  10. I’m sorry. I can feel you: 

    If you did, you try not to utter this line. You never can know what they feel unless you go through the same. Never compare your diarrhea or IBS with someone who has IBD. Comparing your digestive problems with Crohn’s or ulcerative colitis is comparing apples and oranges. One can sympathize, but unless they are in the same boat, they can’t empathize.    

  11. Oh, you have IBS:

    No. They have IBD. Though IBS is horrible, it can be said to be much less serious. IBS is a functional disorder which means the digestive system doesn’t work properly. While on the other hand, IBD is an autoimmune condition. 

Inflammatory bowel diseases like Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are highly misunderstood. While there is much more to be done in the field of research and permanent cure, it should all start with understanding and being considerate about their needs. Living with this is already difficult, and when people around them aren’t supportive.   

As a well-wisher, you might want to be there for them and empathize with them, but end up blurting out things which leads to awkward silence. Do you know someone with IBD? Rather than criticizing and giving random advice, try to be more considerate with them. Instead of asking uncomfortable questions or comments, visit our site to understand more about Ulcerative Colitis. We at HighCarbHealth, believe in healing ulcerative colitis with a plant-based diet, rather than opting for expensive medication and treatments. There is much more than a bottle of aloe vera juice, you can suggest. You can find everything about treating Crohn’s Disease naturally on our site. The best help you can extend to them is by referring us!! 


Shukul Kachwalla

Shukul Kachwalla is a Certified Wholistic Health & Natural Healing Counsellor from the Vibrant Health & Wealth Academy. Shukul has recovered from severe Hayfever, Acne, and Chronic Migraines and recommends a Whole Foods Plant based diet to people who want to improve their quality of life and experience optimal health.