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.
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
- Looking For Your Crohn’s Stories!by modsupport on January 10, 2024
@trust_level_0 Dear Crohn’s Support Member, For over 10 years, the Ben’s Friends online rare patient communities, run & moderated by rare patients themselves, have been a source of support for many of us, living with rare diseases. But it’s not enough. We would like more people to know about this wonderful service. To that effect, we are planning a social media campaign that will highlight the benefits of the Ben’s Friends online communities. We would like this to come directly from […]
- 📢 Calling mothers of children with rare diseases of all agesby modsupport on August 12, 2023
Ben’s Friends has launched a new community for moms raising children with rare diseases and chronic conditions and we are inviting you to join Warrior Moms Living with Rare Disease Warrior Moms Living with Rare Disease Warrior Moms fighting rare diseases together. Please share the community with other families who are affected. 70% of rare genetic disorders start in childhood. Similar to Ben’s Friends other support communities, […]
- 7 Things to Look for When Choosing a Doctorby benmunoz on May 11, 2023
Sascha Gallardo – November 1, 2022 When you are experiencing symptoms and know that something is wrong, do you settle with the first doctor you meet? Like many other patients, do you also think that doctors know everything so you should believe and simply follow everything they say? At Ben’s Friends, one of the things we always encourage our members to do is to advocate for their own health. Since many of our members deal with rare diseases, they often encounter medical practitioners who […]
- Spotlight on our Member: John aka Jokhere from Living with Polyneuropathy Communityby benmunoz on April 26, 2023
Sascha Gallardo – March 7, 2020 Polyneuropathy is often characterised by numbness, tingling sensation, burning pain and even paralysis of the hands and feet which can later on progress to the other parts of the body such as the arms and legs. This condition can be either acute, which appears suddenly but resolves slowly, or chronic which progresses gradually. It has different classifications such as the Guillain-barré Syndrome (GBS), Chronic Inflammatory Demyelinating Polyneuropathy (CIDP), […]
- Spotlight on Our Moderatorsby benmunoz on March 29, 2023
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 […]