Help & Hope for Kids with Digestive Disorders

Skip to Content

Sublevel Navigation

Connect with Facebook

Our Partners

  • NASPGHAN North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
  • NASPGHAN Foundation North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Foundation
  • APGNN The Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses
  • Print

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!

Living Well with IBD - A Unique Self Management Tool for Pediatric IBD Patients

Girl sitting with doctorBoy smiling

Enroll in the program

  • Find out what you know and don’t know!
  • Learn how to take better care of yourself!


Transition to an Adult GI Provider

As a teenager, you will be expected to begin taking more and more responsibility for your own care and gradually moving from dependence on your parents and caregivers to independently managing your disease. As a patient you should learn as much as you can about your condition and health care needs. You should try to do as much as you can to manage your disease on your own and actively participate in your health care. The doctors and nurses who provide your care should partner with you in this process. Below are some ideas for helping.
you manage your healthcare.