Living with IBD

Having IBD means you will be in contact with healthcare professionals.  They will help to educate you about aspects of IBD, including care and treatment options, but also broader issues relating to managing life with IBD.

This includes a self-management policy and details of organisations and patient groups that can give you support, advice and the chance to meet and share with other people living with IBD.

Information and understanding about how best to manage your life with IBD can help reduce the fear of the unknown and give you confidence to live a full life. This includes being able to successfully continue to live and work with IBD. Changing your lifestyle can also help your symptoms.

Diagram of The Gut - Printed with kind permission from NHS Choices

Diagram of The Gut - Printed with kind permission from NHS Choices


It’s important you eat well and you may be wondering whether food plays a role in causing your illness or treating your symptoms.

Talking with a healthcare professional such as a dietitian, will help.

You can find more information about diet and IBD from Crohn’s and Colitis UK web site at:

Crohn's and Colitis UK - Food and IBD - Your Guide


If you smoke, it can affect some medication, so giving up can reduce your symptoms and help maintain remission.

For help, ask your healthcare professional such as your doctor, or through your consultant’s referral to an IBD nurse, call the NHS Smoking Helpline on Tel:  0300 123 1044 or go to the NHS Smokefree web site at:

NHS Smokefree

Managing stress

Although stress does not cause IBD, successfully managing stress levels may reduce the frequency of symptoms, so it makes sense to try and reduce stress where you can.

Gaining an awareness of what is causing you stress is helpful in tackling it.  You may be able to either avoid some stressful situations or plan ahead with how you will deal with them.

The following advice may help:

  • Exercise.  This can reduce stress and improve your mood.  Your GP or care team can advise on a suitable exercise plan.
  • Relaxation techniques.  Good ways of teaching yourself to relax include breathing exercises, aromatherapy, meditation, or being somewhere quiet and listening to music or reading a book.
  • Communication.  Living with IBD may make you feel frustrated or isolated at times.  Talking to others with the condition can help.

To contact an IBD Specialist Nurse locally for support, you will need to obtain a referral first through your consultant. If you have obtained a referral, the local IBD Specialist Nurses are Sally Edwards based at Royal Shrewsbury Hospital, Shrewsbury and her direct line is: 01743 261318 and Sharon Bartlam based at Princess Royal Hospital, Telford and her direct line is: 01952 565708.

It’s worth contacting a local peer support group. For more information, click on the web link below to take you to the web site page:

Crohn's and Colitis UK - Shropshire and Mid Wales group

Nationally, you can also contact Crohn's and Colitis UK on Tel: 01727 830 038 and on their web site at: 

Crohn's and Colitis UK


Relevant Topics


What is IBD?

Treatment for IBD

Living with IBD

Services for IBD

Shropshire Services & Support Groups - IBD

National Services - IBD


Self Care and Support

Self Care and Support - Introduction

Self Care and Support - Aims

Shropshire Services & Support Groups - Self Care and Support

National Services - Self Care and Support


Wellbeing Plan (Care Plan)

Wellbeing Plan (Care Plan) - Information

Wellbeing Plan (Care Plan) - Document Sections