Weight Loss and Body Issues

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Regular Member

Date Joined Oct 2007
Total Posts : 390
   Posted 12/5/2007 8:01 PM (GMT -7)   
Disclaimer: I know everyone has things that suck that happen to them while they are going through/dealing with the aftermath/trying to ward off a Crohn's flare and I know this could be worse but is something that comes up for me.
I have lost a bit of weight from being sick.  I am 5'2 and normally about 130 lbs, now I am about 115 so around a size 2.  I am still on Pred and 6mp and have been sick/recovering from this last bout for about 2 months now.  My friends who know what is going on are supportive and concerned and want me to be healthy, etc BUT:
I have noticed that I get some little comments from my girlfriends about how much weight I have lost and how I look now that I am getting better.  Comments like "I am jealous at how thin you are" or "Well at least you don't have to diet anymore" or just weird REMARKS about my figure.  It is not malicious or spiteful and I know they don't completely understand, but saying they are "jealous" about any of this ILLNESS I have to deal with is somewhat offensive to me.  I have lost weight b/c I couldn't keep any food in me.  Everything I ate either caused me pain or just went right through me with awful D.  My intestines felt like I was being stabbed in the abdomen.  I was in horrible pain that woke me up at night and had social anxiety about being in public having to go to the bathroom.  I missed work and was completely stressed out about the disruption in my life.  My hair fell out.  I stopped getting my period.  I am on medicine that wreaks complete havoc on my body.  I am concerned about how this disease will affect my life and it is by nature a problem people are embarrassed about talking about and hard enough to deal with on its own.
So please don't turn your own weird body issues onto me. 
Wow, that felt good to say!  Thanks for letting me vent. :)

gemini kiwi
Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2006
Total Posts : 1136
   Posted 12/5/2007 9:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Yes I had the same comments but after all I'd been through their comments paled into insignificance, I tried my best to rise above it all, and not judge family and so called friends for being so insensitive and shallow..

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2005
Total Posts : 2486
   Posted 12/5/2007 11:07 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey Wednesday, I'm sorry you have to deal with these comments. Your friends/family probably mean well and want to find a way to connect with you, and talking about people's thinness is somehow "acceptable" in our society; sounds like they are masking their concern, or trying to lighten the mood, or are simply naive, instead of being malicious. It's no wonder you are frustrated. Sometimes I like to think: what if one of my friends were "dwindling away" before my eyes? It'd be pretty scary, you know? So just keep in mind what they may be feeling while they are watching you go through this.

I know how you feel: before this whole thing started I was actually overweight - that was two years ago. Now, in the midst of my worst time ever with this illness I am down to 120 (I am also 5'2"). It was a rather welcomed side effect at first (pretty messed up, I know) but now it makes me nervous. Anyway, hang in there. Just smile and thank them if they tell you you look great, and if they tell you they are jealous of your weight loss, say, "Almost as jealous as I am about your regular bowel habits!" That should shut 'em up!
Co-moderator - IBS Forum

Regular Member

Date Joined Jul 2007
Total Posts : 24
   Posted 12/6/2007 7:19 AM (GMT -7)   
that's a tough one for the ladies...for the guys it's simple, get on the prednisone..the ladies though, prednisone will make you more manly..hair in unwanted places, etc.

you've no doubt tried supplements, I wouldn't recommend a weight gainer (too many carbs, could cause flares)...the trick is, get the inflammation down so that your ileum will absorb more fats from your diet...not sure what ladies do...eat more is the key, but if eating more causes pain (which is does in me at the stage I'm at)...then get that inflamation down...I've heard Imuran works for some, and for those who have coverage, I've heard remicade can be good...in the meantime, if you want to reduce the diarreah...just use probiotics, I would recommend Primadopholus Optima...however, you cannot use it all the time, you must go off of it as our bodies develop a "tolerance" to it.
Tests I've had:
5-6 colonoscopies (lost count), Barium follow through, Barium enema, 2-3 CT scans, plenty of xrays (lost count)
Prednisone (started at 40mg stepping down) been on this one 3-4 times
Tried Imuran, no good
Would try remicade if I had coverage ($2500 per 2 hour IV :P)
Herbal remedies tried:
4Life Transfer Factor Plus (2 bottles at 3x recommended dosage)
Primal Defense (3x dosage recommended...yuck)
Many different probiotics including:
    VSL #3 (450 billion live bacteria!)
    Primadophilus Optima
Omega 3 Oils (caps and liquid)
GNC liquid multi (had to get this one from the US)
Paraway Parasite Cleanse
New Roots Herbal Parasitis Kit
Just ordered Mastic Gum capsules (120x1000mg) and Mastic Gum pure from the tree (10gr. bag)

Veteran Member

Date Joined Jan 2004
Total Posts : 598
   Posted 12/6/2007 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   
I can identify with what you are experiencing. It drives me crazy. Everyone tells me oh, they don't mean anything by it. I don't think its ok to comment on someone's body even if they aren't sick. Simply saying "you look great" or not saying anything if that isn't the case is enough. I've thought of snappy comebacks, including telling them the truth (in my case the people who have made similar comments don't know I am sick) but I never say anything. I like Sarita's comment at the end. That is good!
10 years, many tests, 3 gi doctors, Pentasa 1000mg 3x day
diovan, simvastatin and now trying good ol' zoloft

Regular Member

Date Joined Apr 2006
Total Posts : 192
   Posted 12/6/2007 2:46 PM (GMT -7)   
I also understand how you feel.  Since I've gotten sick I've lost about 20 pounds.  I used to be 145 now I'm about 115-120 and 5'5.  I've lost a lot of friends over it and hibernated for a long time because I was ashamed.  My lowest weight has been 105, which I looked horrible.  The only thing I can say is don't let this disease take over or control who you are.  Its hard but stay positive all the time.  I try to keep control over my thoughts and replace negative ones with positive ones.  Its helped me to come out of hibernation.

Veteran Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 4384
   Posted 12/6/2007 8:10 PM (GMT -7)   
OK, so here is my Insensitive comment of the year award:
I've been very sick with a Crohn's flare for about six months, (I am starting to feel better..) I was about 20 pounds overweight before I got sick, and even with the Prednisone, I lost about 10 pounds. So my sister in law says to me. "If you were so sick for such a long time, then why aren't you stick thin by now?" I had no idea what to say, so of course I said."I have absolutely no idea how to respond to that question," and she responded "Well it's great that at least you lost 10 pounds."

I still don't know if she was implying that I was not as sick as I said I was, or that I still look fat or what! I will say that if I could have my overweight healthy self back, I'd do it in a heartbeat, rather than to feel so ill all the time!!!!!
48 yr. old female, diagnosed with Crohn's Sept-Oct. 2007

Veteran Member

Date Joined Mar 2007
Total Posts : 1642
   Posted 12/7/2007 8:17 AM (GMT -7)   

gumby, I too have had comments about me being overweight and having CD. People sometimes ask me why I am not thin. I am one of the lucky ones that gains weight. My Dr said it could be a survival instinct my body tries to hold on to my weight because it is afraid it is going to starve when the food runs right through me... I am not sure if he is right or not.

Weight is such a sensitive issue, i wish people would realize that!



Karen (Karendee)

Diagnosed w/ Crohn’s Disease  March 2007 On 150mg Azathioprine (generic Imuran), Pentasa, & Entocort (take zofran for nausea now)

Diagnosed w/  Fibromyalgia May 2007 also on Soma

Also have Arthritis, and feel like I am falling apart sometimes...

Elite Member

Date Joined Feb 2004
Total Posts : 20577
   Posted 12/7/2007 11:56 AM (GMT -7)   
You can't win for losing (ha literally)...it doesn't matter if you're too skinny or too fat, crohnies cannot catch a break from comments when it comes to their weight, overweight CDers (I've been there too) get comments like, "you must not be in a flare anymore, you look really "healthy" weight wise"...

But for the most part I've always been a thin person even before CD so I've had people tell me they hate me because I eat so much and don't gain an ounce...I say oh well, alot has to do with metabolism anyway, some people have to work hard at keeping a certain weight and some don't (I've also been on both ends of this too).

Like I said, with people and their opinions about our weight, you cannot win for losing so ignore them.

My bum is broken....there's a big crack down the middle of it!  LOL  :)

Regular Member

Date Joined Nov 2007
Total Posts : 83
   Posted 12/7/2007 12:46 PM (GMT -7)   
Can I ever relate to this!! I've always been thin - I'm 5'4 and at normal weight was between 110-115lbs. which even then I was underweight. My parents and grandparents are also thin, it's just what it is! But I've lost about 15 lbs. I hate it. Hate hate hate hate it! I would go up and down depending on how I felt but lately I've been stuck between 95 and 100 lbs. Through all the pain and problems and tests I've been through in the past 3 years the only thing that has ever guaranteed to make me cry is any mention about my weight.

So far the 6mp I'm on now seem to be helping (it's only been a week!) but I can def tell that my appetite has increased and I'm feeling less pains. I haven't weighed myself yet because I don't want to get too disappointed, I'll give it another week or 2 probably..

But what I hate more than anything is how people are JEALOUS of how I look?! I had one instance where this girl I had just met wouldn't stop making comments. I got really mad at her and told her to stop. I really don't think people realize that even when you're thin, you shouldn't talk about it. Especially if you don't know the person! I do generally just tell them - I have a fast metabolism! And try to laugh it off.. nice to know other's have dealt with similar insensitive people! :P

Regular Member

Date Joined Jun 2006
Total Posts : 267
   Posted 12/7/2007 6:33 PM (GMT -7)   
You are preaching to the choir girl :)
I can't tell you how many times women have made "innocent" comments about my weight loss due to CD, I know they mean no harm but it makes me very, very uncomfortable because I don't want to tell everyone my personal health issues, my pat response is usually "I have had some health problems which caused me to lose some weight but I've got a handle on it now"...that usually shuts them up. But it is soooo strange because people who knew me at 200lbs (I'm 5'3") and see me now at 117lbs typically think that I dieted to lose the weight, people used to ask me all the time what diet I went on to lose the weight. Again, made me very uncomfortable because I would have to give my pat response...and like heavly mentioned above in her response, some people get jealous, strange as that sounds, some overweight women didn't seem to care that I have a disease that makes me miserable every day of my life, they just wanted to be as thin as me. Sounds twisted but I kind of understand because when I was very overweight I prayed at night to wake up thin, didn't care how I got skinny-I just wanted to be thin and pretty. I often question whether I didn't get what I wished for...
Anyway, that's my rant for now. I am soooo glad to read the posts and know that others with CD suffer the debilitating psychological effects of this God awful disease too...at least I know I'm not alone.
Marci, 38 years old, Rockledge, FL
Dx with Crohn's disease March 2006, currently on bi-weekly Humira, daily 6mg Entocort, daily 2-3x 5mg hydrocodone (for pain), and daily 75mg Effexor, plus 3x per day heavy iron supplements for anemia

Veteran Member

Date Joined Apr 2007
Total Posts : 532
   Posted 12/7/2007 7:43 PM (GMT -7)   
Hey wednesday, it sounds to me that they are just plain jealous and that it has nothing to do with your illness. For years people have said to me, well you are so skinny and I am not. It is just that they are overweight. Sounds like you are in a normal weight range for your height, but after losing it, it does take a while to tone up a bit. Forget about what people say, you ARE lucky to be thinner than obese. Here is a weight chart for women ages 25- 50. I am normally around 140 lbs and am 5'7". At that people were alway commenting to me. Now on pred and entocort, I am around 160, down from 170. Oh, to fit into my old clothes once more.

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Diagnosed at age 19 with CD.
3 small bowel resections, 1 for perforation, 2 for strictures 

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