Welcome! We Are a Patient-To-Patient Support Community for People Living with Crohn’s and Colitis
Our mission at LifeWithCrohnsColitis.org is to ensure that patients living with Crohns and Colitis, as well as their caregivers, family, and friends, have a safe and supportive place to connect with others like them.
LifeWithCrohnsColitis.org is part of Ben’s Friends, a network of safe and supportive patient communities for anyone affected by a rare disease or chronic condition. Recognized as a 501(c)(3) non-profit, Ben’s Friends is a grassroots organization run by patients for patients. It is not a top-down, “expert advice” experience but a community offering peer to peer support. The value of this approach is evidenced by our hundred volunteer moderators, who are either patients themselves or relatives of patients, who believe in the mission and are willing to invest their time and share the knowledge and insights they have gained with members arriving daily in need of help. Ben’s Friends considers the patient perspective in everything we do.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). It causes inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which can lead to abdominal pain, severe diarrhea and even malnutrition. Inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease can involve different areas of the digestive tract in different people. The inflammation caused by Crohn’s disease often spreads deep into the layers of affected bowel tissue. Like ulcerative colitis, another common IBD, Crohn’s disease can be both painful and debilitating, and sometimes may lead to life-threatening complications.
Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a chronic disease of the colon and rectum, together known as the large intestine. When inflammation and ulceration of the large intestine mucosa, or innermost lining, occurs, tiny open sores may form on the surface of the lining.Because inflammation damages the lining of the intestinal wall, it may bring about the onset of a flare, including diarrehea, bloody stoo, and abdominal pain or cramping. , UC affects only the innermost lining, whereas Crohn’s disease can affect the entire thickness of the intestinal wall.
Ulcerative colitis differs from another inflammatory bowel condition, Crohn’s disease. While Crohn’s may affect any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, UC only involves the colon and rectum.
This site is a virtual community intended to be a safe place for patients and family members as young as age 12, to visit for information, discussion, venting and mutual support. Members come from many backgrounds. Some have a strong religious faith, and others no faith; some are children and others adults, rich and poor, graduate educated or taught by life. Our common denominators are that we share a life journey, and we try to help each other.
Why create an account?
Posts on the different Ben’s Friends communities can be read by anyone on the internet. You can browse through the different topics and find most of the information you’re looking for but there are many things you won’t be able to do unless you create an account. These include:
Making your own posts. Although you’re able to find useful information just by reading other members’ posts, you might still have a lot of questions in your mind. Either you want to start a new topic to talk about them in detail or you want to reply to a comment on a thread. These won’t be possible unless you create a new user account.
Viewing other members’ profiles. Member profiles include information about the country or region they are from, whether they are a patient or a caregiver, and details about their disease and treatments. Maybe you came across an interesting post and you want to learn more about the member. Or maybe you’re looking for members who are from the same country as you. Having a user account allows you to see other member profiles and find information that may be relevant.
Sending private messages. Aside from being able to post publicly and commenting on a thread, having a user account also allows you to send private messages both to other members and moderators. In case you want to discuss a topic only with a specific person, this is possible by sending private messages when you have created your account.
Click here to create an account and join.
Want to learn more about Crohn’s and Colitis disease?
Is your family or friend affected with Crohn’s or Colitis?
What kind of disease is this? What food diet fits Crohn’s or Colitis patients?
Visit Crohn’s/Colitis 101
Read about what causes Crohn’s/Colitis disease, who gets Crohn’s, and how can one cope with the chronic condition
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Ben Munoz – October 31, 2019 When we recently asked our moderators what they love about their role, we got a variety of reactions. Not surprising: each of our “mods” does their job in their own way! Some are very active in the conversation, and others take a more hands-off approach, intervening only when there might be a problem. We think that’s one of the ways our forty-some community network is special. Each community reflects the needs of members and the personality of its […]
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Ben Munoz – November 1, 2019 I remember talking, not so long ago, with one of our AVM veterans. He has been battling this disease for 41 years now. When it was first discovered no one within 500 miles knew what it even was, let alone how to treat it. He says that it was a very scary time. Not only because of major surgery as an 8th grader but also because that is what I call, “rather rare.” Imagine, if you will, that 8th grader, well into the school year, dealing with all of the middle […]
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- Spotlight on Our Board Member: John Stamlerby benmunoz on January 17, 2023
Ben Munoz – November 9, 2019 John Stamler, Ben’s Friends’ treasurer and a rare disease survivor himself, had a conversation with Garry Turner in the Episode 81 of Value through Vulnerability podcast. John shared his inspiring work as a mentor to startups and his admiration for the entrepreneurs he works with who are so passionate about what they believe in. He also talked about his experiences related to a rare heart defect which eventually led to his joining Ben’s Friends as a patient […]