• Welcome to Crohn's Forum, a support group for people with all forms of IBD. While this community is not a substitute for doctor's advice and we cannot treat or diagnose, we find being able to communicate with others who have IBD is invaluable as we navigate our struggles and celebrate our successes. We invite you to join us.

My Crohn's Journey

I'm Olivia, I am 25 and I live in NZ. This is my Crohn's story.
I always had what I thought was a 'sensitive stomach', my Mum said I would often be sick if I went to a birthday party and I was always vomiting or feeling sick. When I was 14 I went on holiday to Bali, I got food poisoning and was incredibly sick. I had to be on the toilet every morning when I got to school and this went on for months. I just thought it was still food poisoning and didn't take much notice. When I was at University I would often have to have a sleep in the afternoons between lectures and I always felt incredibly tired. Mum and Dad thought I was just being a Uni student. When I started drinking alcohol I noticed it made me really sick so I stopped drinking. I also started noticing that certain foods made me sick so I avoided them. I lost quite a lot of weight and was very listless and very low energy, and often incredibly anxious and depressed. I constantly had a stomachache and terrible bloating and pain. I went to my GP and told him all my symptoms and he sent me for all kinds of tests. This went on for months until he decided to send me to a gastroenterologist. I am so grateful for my insurance which meant that I didn't have to go on a waiting list to see a specialist.
He said straight away that he thought it could be Crohn's. I was so scared because I knew a few people with Crohn's and they were so sick, I didn't want to be like that. I went for a colonoscopy and they found ulcers everywhere. My diagnosis was bittersweet. I was relieved that I could finally start treating it but I felt so scared about the future. I started taking Pentasa immediately, which is luckily subsidised here in NZ so it doesn't cost me much. I found that my symptoms got a little better, but my energy did not improve. I have spent a lot of money on my disease over the years, I take antidepressants as I feel very low sometimes, which my doctor says is very common in people with chronic conditions like Crohn's. I took Vitamin D for awhile and I took a course of Prednisone when I had a flare-up recently. I've seen a dietician and had my blood analysed to see what foods might make me flare-up. When I went overseas for 7 months, the rigmarole of taking my pills with me was such a pain, i had to have letters from my specialist etc saying that I was allowed to carry my meds on me. And I was living in the UK, where Pentasa is not subsidised, so it cost me a fortune! Living with Crohn's is constant, I can't remember the last time my tummy felt 'normal'. Most of the time I can be logical, and live with it, but sometimes I feel so sad and so sorry for myself. I think that it's tricky because some people don't understand how hard it is to live with an IBD, and how much it affects our lives.
Thank you all for sharing your stories, it humbles me to read about people who have it so much worse than me, it makes me realise that I am lucky, despite this, and that we are all in this together. Take care.


Hiya Olivia
and welcome

So glad you found us, we'll look after you, you're no longer alone!
lotsa luv
Joan xxx


Hi Olivia and welcome!

It's common to get depressed or anxious when dealing with Crohn's. Many of us do! And there are many of us on meds to help deal with stress and anxiety, which can make Crohn;s worse.

Hope you are feeling okay now and that that Pentasa continues to work for you.

- Amy
I know exactly how you feel about being sad about having ibd. I cry alot because i just don't want to be sick anymore. I was really hoping that whatever was wrong with me would be cureable and to be told you'll never be cured is really hard to deal with. I'm talking to my primary care physcian about getting on some anti-anxiety medication because i stress constantly about it and its hard not to just be consummed by sadness sometimes. But this forum has made it eaiser so far because I have people to talk to about it and they know what its like. I'm new too! Hope you feel some comfort through the forums too.
Welcome to the forum Olivia! I'm sorry you are having trouble dealing with your diagnosis (you too Lola!), which is perfectly normal and understandable! I hope you both find a way to come to terms with your symptoms and your life as it is, whatever that means for you! There is life with Crohns, I promise you! You just have to find a way to accept it and move forward. Easier said then done, I know.
Thank you

Thank you all so much for your messages of support. How amazing that from all over the world we can support each other and share in our pain, sadness and triumphs. Thanks again!