Part of #crohnsandcolitisawarenessweek
My appearance is something that changes quite often with my Crohns disease.
Whether it be weight gain – either much needed or just subsequent – or weight loss, my body has not looked consistently the same for years. Even within a year, I can dramatically lose weight or gain it, it depends on how well my disease is being controlled my current course of treatment.
While my thoughts and feelings about my body have changed over the years, society’s view of my body has not, or has been very slow to change and adapt.
Weight loss is seen as the pinnacle of ‘good health’ when in reality, it only proves to me and my disease that I am unwell and require medical attention. I get more comments about my weight loss than anything else, and it frustrated the heck out of me. My low weight did not mean I was well, it meant I was undergoing extreme pain and was unable to eat, or I was experiencing a flare-up which came with a ton of diarrhoea.
Again, the same is said for weight gain – it is viewed by society as a problem that requires me to lose weight. Yes, in some cases, this can be true. But when I gain weight is because I am actually able to eat without pain and not frequently the bathroom as much. It also comes from steroids and other medications which have the side effect of me gaining weight. In most instances, me gaining weight has been a triumph after long periods of being unable to eat and actually able to intake more than I was losing.
When should you seek help?
Extreme or sudden weight loss is a clear sign of a medical issue. At times, some doctors might consider this to be symptomatic of an eating disorder, but it is a symptom of IBD, especially Ulcerative Colitis.
If weight loss is coupled with a change in bowel habits and/or vomiting and fatigue, you should speak to your GP.
This goes for those without a diagnosis of IBD or with one, as it can also be an indication that something isn’t quite right in an IBD patient too.
Until next time,
Do you have any questions or queries? Or just want to share your own experiences? You can leave me a reply here or leave comments via my social media accounts – on Twitter, find my blog page on Facebook and over on Instagram