Find Information About:

Drugs & Supplements

Get information and reviews on prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications, vitamins, and supplements. Search by name or medical condition.

Pill Identifier

Pill Identifier

Having trouble identifying your pills?

Enter the shape, color, or imprint of your prescription or OTC drug. Our pill identification tool will display pictures that you can compare to your pill.

Get Started
My Medicine

My Medicine

Save your medicine, check interactions, sign up for FDA alerts, create family profiles and more.

Get Started

WebMD Health Experts and Community

Talk to health experts and other people like you in WebMD's Communities. It's a safe forum where you can create or participate in support groups and discussions about health topics that interest you.

  • Second Opinion

    Second Opinion

    Read expert perspectives on popular health topics.

  • Community


    Connect with people like you, and get expert guidance on living a healthy life.

Got a health question? Get answers provided by leading organizations, doctors, and experts.

Get Answers

Sign up to receive WebMD's award-winning content delivered to your inbox.

Sign Up

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Health Center

Font Size

Tips for Everyday Challenges of Crohn's Disease

By Kara Mayer Robinson
WebMD Feature
Reviewed by Jennifer Robinson, MD

Crohn's disease can get in the way of everyday activities, but you can overcome most of the challenges. Use these tactics to smooth out issues at home, at work, and in your relationships.

Family Life

Educate your family. Tell your family and friends what it's like to live with Crohn's. They may be confused about the disease, says Frank J. Sileo, PhD, a New Jersey psychologist who works with people who have Crohn's.

Let them know which foods are easy for you to eat and which ones, if any, cause problems. 

Bring someone with you to appointments. They can take notes while you speak to the doctor.

"Information can be overwhelming and terms can be confusing," Sileo says. "Four ears are better than two."

Embrace their help. Let your family pitch in with household tasks, health care visits, and meal planning, says Michael A. Farber, MD, a gastroenterologist at Crozer-Chester Medical Center in Pennsylvania.

"We all need support," Sileo says. "Don't feel ashamed or afraid to ask for it." Be clear about what you need and what you don't.


Plan dates carefully. During a flare-up, dinner and a movie is probably better than a long hike in the woods. Choose a restaurant and look at menus online before you go.

"Don't be afraid to speak up," Sileo says. "If Mexican food bothers you, say something."

Share when you're ready. It's up to you when to tell a new partner you have Crohn's.

"While it's not necessary to have full disclosure on a first date, you should recognize that honesty and communication is ultimately the best policy," Farber says.

For example, you could tell them how you check for bathrooms wherever you go, but beyond needing to have a restroom nearby, you're up for anything.

Talk about sex. If you have concerns, share them. Tell your partner what feels good and what doesn't.

"Be clear and honest about what you're going through and what you need from them to avoid miscommunication and frustration," says David Roseman, MD, who founded the San Diego chapter of the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA).

Be flexible. "Intimacy does not have to equal [sex]," Farber says. Find other ways to be intimate.

Today on WebMD

woman with pains in abdomen
Get personalized tips.
woman in restaurant
Tips for staying active.
woman clutching at stomach
Causes, symptoms, treatments, and more.
butter curls
What to eat and avoid.
Living With Crohns Slideshow
Ulcerative Colitis Surgery Slideshow
crohns disease healthcheck
Ulcerative Colitis Health Check
Crohns Symptoms
Ulcerative Colitis Diet
Crohns Prebiotic
Supplements UC