7.Can you wait until the next exit?
Assume the answer is no.
If you’re in the car with a person with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease and they tell you they need to go, listen to them, Novack says.
“One of the biggest fears of probably anyone with ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s is getting stuck in traffic,” she says. Just help them find the closest bathroom, and get them there as soon as possible. Another question not to ask: “Why can’t you just hold it?”
8.You’ve really put on weight!
Prednisone, one of the most effective short-term medicines for quickly quelling a severe flare-up, has several side effects, including weight gain. Another side effect is “moon face,” in which the cheeks get rounded, making for a chipmunk-like look that can give the impression that a person is heavy even when his or her body is rail-thin.
Fortunately, this effect tends to go away when the person stops taking corticosteroids. Until then, the best approach to commenting on weight or looks to a person with IBD is not to comment at all.
9.Is it OK for you to eat that?
There’s no one-size-fits-all diet for people with an inflammatory bowel disease. Fruits and vegetables may be no-nos, but some people do just fine with spicy foods.
“Different foods affect different people differently,” Stein says. “It’s a trial-and-error thing, and each individual figures out what’s OK and what agrees with them. Crohn’s and colitis patients know what they can eat, and when someone’s looking over your shoulder and commenting, that’s kind of bizarre.”
10.Why are you so tired?
“People need to understand that ulcerative colitis is a serious disease,” says Novack. “If you can’t go to an event or you have to stay home from work, it’s not because you’re slacking – it’s because you really are sick.”
Jill Plevinsky hates when her friends and family try to get her to do things she’s not up for by saying, “Oh, come on. You can’t be that tired.” She likes to answer them by saying, “If you lost as much blood as I do with each bowel movement, you’d be pretty wiped out too.”