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The Stress of IBD


Last updated 4/5/2022 at 3:31pm | View PDF

Coming on the heels of a stressful two years of pandemic, the Department of Veterans Affairs has aligned with a website dedicated to those who suffer from stress-related inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. And just in time. A recent long-term study of veterans concluded that over time, the stress of veterans with bowel disease has increased.

There are likely 66,000 veterans with bowel disease who all need information and resources, and the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation (CCF) is the place to go. Right on the dedicated webpage (, it asks important questions: What kind of doctor do I need? Where do I get care? How quickly can I get VA care once I'm registered?

As noted above, these last two years have put most of us under extra stress, and those with bowel disease are many times more likely than others to experience depression, PTSD and anxiety as a fact of daily life. The CCF website points to coping tips that can help, such as meditation, relaxation techniques and exercise ... and getting help from a mental-health professional. Scroll to the bottom of the mental health page for sections on pain and fatigue, strategies to improve mental health, depression and anxiety, and daily life.

One section stands out: If you're going to be moving, you'll need a traveling veteran consult. Continuous care will begin before you leave and follow you through the move to your new location. With a traveling veteran consult, your records and info about your health and history will be ready for you on the other end. Any required care can pick up where it left off. Your responsibility will be to plan ahead and give them notice.

The website is loaded with information: diet and nutrition, complementary medicine, medications, resources and much more. The most help might be found in local chapters and support groups (there are over 200), where you'll find others who know exactly what you're experiencing.

(c) 2022 King Features Synd., Inc.


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