Coping with IBD

Coping with IBD

It’s never easy to learn that you have a chronic illness. Kids who are diagnosed with IBD might feel afraid, sad, nervous, or just “different.” These feelings are completely normal, and most children are able to cope well with their diagnosis.

However, watch for any these behaviors, which may indicate that your child is having trouble transitioning to life with IBD:

  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Poor eating habits
  • Persistent sadness and/or frequent crying
  • Lack of interest in usual activities and hobbies

Helping Your Child Cope

If your child seems to be having trouble dealing with his or her IBD, parents and trusted adults can be a great source of comfort and help. Keep the lines of communication open, and be sure to let the child know:

  • It’s normal to feel sad or anxious about IBD
  • With IBD treatment, most kids lead normal, active lives
  • It’s important to talk about your feelings with a parent or a doctor
  • Anything you share with a doctor is confidential and private—he or she can’t tell anyone else without your permission
  • Kids are different for all kinds of reasons—you’re great the way you are!

Featured Resources

PDF Downloads



In this book, medical experts explain all you need to know about IBD and answer important questions, including:

  • What are inflammatory bowel diseases, Crohn’s disease, and ulcerative colitis?
• Is there a cure for IBD?
  • How is IBD going to affect my child’s daily life?
  • Will my child’s diet change?
  • Can my child still play sports?
  • Will my child need surgery?
  • What are the side effects of commonly prescribed medications?
  • What challenges may my child face at school and socially, especially as he or she grows older?

To purchase: Please go to the Johns Hopkins Press Website.


Educational support for the NASPGHAN Foundation’s Pediatric IBD Education Campaign was provided by major sponsors P&G Pharmaceuticals, Shire, UCB Inc. and Centocor, Inc. Additional support for the campaign was provided by Prometheus Therapeutics and Diagnostics and Abbott.

North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
The Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses
North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Foundation
The NASPGHAN Council For Pediatric Nutrition Professionals
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