How to be Body Positive | Tips for Confidence!
How to Stay Body Positive When You Have Crohn's
What Contributes to Poor Body Image in People With IBD
It’s not just the surgical scars and the bag that can damage body image. The symptoms of Crohn’s can also make people feel self-conscious. Having fecal incontinence, having to constantly run to the bathroom, and having gas can be embarrassing and contribute to feelings of shame, says Jedel. “IBD is not a sexy disease. People can speak about their cancer, but people aren’t talking about poop or constipation or gas. There’s an added element of shame, because the symptoms are a taboo subject.”
Some of the medications don’t help, either. According to the same review inInflammatory Bowel Diseases, steroids have side effects, such as depression, weight gain, fluid retention, acne, and increased facial hair, all of which can damage body image.
Ways to Improve Body Image If You Have Crohn’s Disease
Poor body image is associated with depression and anxiety as well as issues with sexuality, so it’s important to try to work on how you feel about your body to maintain health. Here are some tips to get you started.
- Allow time to grieve. Miller advises people with Crohn’s to be patient with themselves. It takes time to recover mentally to the changes in your body. “Your body is not what you've known for however many years, and it takes time to get to know the new version of you,” she says. “You’re allowed to grieve, and [expletive] anyone who tries to slow or rush that process.” It’s very similar to a mourning process, according to Jedel. “You’re grieving over the loss caused by the changes in your body,” she says. Allow any emotions to be present, such as loss, anger, envy, sadness, or anxiety, says Jedel. Some people can do this on their own, and others may need a therapist to get them through this process. “Through mourning and grieving, ultimately you come to a place of acceptance about your own body and how different it is,” she says.
- Appreciate your renewed health.Surgery is usually a last resort when all other treatment options have failed to bring you relief. Try to focus on how much better you feel and the things you can do now that perhaps you couldn’t do before. Sometimes it helps to keep a gratitude list of all the things that you have in your life today thanks to surgery.
- Resist cultural beauty ideals.You may encounter negative reactions from people, but it’s important not to let these views infiltrate your own acceptance of your body. “Body image is a significant problem in our society to begin with, and it interferes with the healing process,” says Jedel. Like Miller, Jedel suggests that other women with a pouch develop a broader sense of what beauty is and what constitutes attractiveness.
Video: If You Want To Lose Weight, YOU ARE NOT BODY POSITIVE. RANT.
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