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    Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Menstruation

    Can inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affect my monthly period?

    Yes. Many women with active IBD have irregular periods. When the disease goes into remission, regular periods sometimes return. No one knows for sure why. But inflammation does affect the hormones that cause periods. Nutritional problems may also interfere with the monthly cycle of women with IBD.

    Some women with IBD tend to feel worse right before and during their menstrual periods than at other times. Diarrhea, abdominal pain, exhaustion and other symptoms are often more severe during these times. It is important for women and their doctors to keep track of these monthly changes in symptoms. This will prevent over-treating the disease.

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    Feeling Good About Your Body When You Have Crohn's

    Crohn's disease can take a toll on your body image, confidence, and comfort. But it doesn't have to. “It is possible to have a good body image with Crohn’s disease," says Sara Ringer, "but it’s something you have to continually put effort into.” Ringer, who's in her early 30s, has gotten medical care for her Crohn's symptoms since she was a baby, although she wasn't diagnosed until she was 14. All that care focused on her disease. But Ringer, and anyone else with Crohn's, is far more than...

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