6 Tips for Navigating a New IBD Diagnosis from People Who Get It

 IBD community members share what they would tell someone recently diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease.

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Receiving a new inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) diagnosis can often involve a range of emotions. It can feel overwhelming or scary to not know what your future holds.

Sometimes a new diagnosis can make you feel angry or sad that this is happening to you.

You may experience relief after receiving a new diagnosis because you finally have a name for what has been causing your symptoms.

For some, receiving a new diagnosis after months or years of not having a diagnosis can feel empowering or motivating because you can actually start taking steps to get your symptoms managed.

It’s important to remember that there’s never just one “right” way to feel when you’re confronted with a big change like a new diagnosis.

Any emotions you’re feeling are entirely valid. It’s also OK if you aren’t sure how you feel yet.

If you’re navigating a new IBD diagnosis, hearing from others who have been there can help. Members of the IBD Healthline community shared their advice for people recently diagnosed with IBD.

“You’re not alone — the IBD Healthline community is with you. We understand how awful this can be and how it can bring you down to the lowest point. Remember, there’s no shame in reaching out for help.” — Dana K.

“When I was diagnosed, I felt so depressed and anxious. It felt like a nightmare becoming true. In those moments I realized that if I have to go through something like this, I might as well see it as an opportunity for me to learn or grow.

I believe that I’m more humble in a way that I wasn’t before. I feel like maybe I’m a better person as well.

I’m taking CBD oil which helps me a lot, I’m trying to exercise and eat healthy. I’m also praying every day.

I don’t have answers [to] why those things happen, I even don’t understand. It’s hard. I used to complain a lot, even before I was diagnosed, and I’m trying to be more optimistic and grateful now.” — Henrique

“I find that visualizing a future free of symptoms helps give me hope and keeps me on my path to healing. Manifesting can be powerful! Being able to receive support from a community of others who are going through the same treatments is super helpful for me.“ — Kristen31

“​​I’m the last person to preach patience, but it is really what I keep reminding myself… things will get better.

Even my closest friends and family don’t understand how hard it is not being able to do the things that brought me joy and peace. It’s like losing a part of myself.

I’m trying to fill that void by finding new things that fulfill me. It’s not easy, and some days are worse than others.

I made a vision board before I got diagnosed and it’s interesting to look at now. It actually gives me hope that I am still the same person as I was before.” — Csteibvdm

“The advice I would personally give is to read up and learn everything you can about what IBD is and the possible treatments that are out there.

Tell your doctor everything. Communication is key in this. There is more known now about IBD, than there was when I was first diagnosed back in 1976.

Find a good gastroenterologist; if one isn’t a good fit, find another. Read, read, read.” — Pots

“You’re not alone! No matter how dark things may seem, there are always better days ahead.” — Hannah Lemmon

When you’re diagnosed with a chronic condition like IBD, it can feel overwhelming. It’s common to have a lot of questions.

While your doctor is a great resource, you may have questions about how IBD could affect your day-to-day life that a doctor might not be able to answer. Members of the IBD Healthline community understand firsthand what it’s like adjusting to life after a new diagnosis.

Whether you’re looking for gut-friendly breakfast ideas, advice on navigating relationships with a chronic condition, or anything in between — the community is here for you.

Elinor Hills is an associate editor at Healthline. She’s passionate about the intersection of emotional well-being and physical health as well as how individuals form connections through shared medical experiences. Outside of work, she enjoys yoga, photography, drawing, and spending way too much of her time running.