Crohn's Disease Forum » Support Forum » Responding to people asking about your weight loss

05-14-2012, 08:45 AM   #1
New Member
Join Date: May 2012
Location: dallas, Texas
Responding to people asking about your weight loss

I am just wondering if people are always asking about your weight loss and how you respond. I am a fairly private person and don't go around sharing my health problems with people unless they are very close to me. I have lost quite a bit of weight this year and am now just on the border of underweight (113, 5'6, 35yo).

It has been mostly family and a few not so close friends. Several have asked me if I have an eating disorder. This bothers me greatly. I have been an average healthy weight my entire life until now. It is also presented as, oh my gosh, you are so thin, are you trying to be like that?

I have told a few close family members that I have not been well and am going through testing but I have no diagnosis as of yet So, I can't just say, I have....... that is why and leave it at that. I think I am being sensitive about it but also feel really uncomfortable and unsure what to say.

How have you all dealt with this? It isn't in my nature to be rude and say none of your business although tempting I try to remember that they may be saying it out of care and concern.
Thanks so much,
05-14-2012, 09:07 AM   #2
Dawn Gibson
Join Date: May 2012
Location: Southampton, United Kingdom
I think you've been taking the right approach with friends and family, so why not apply the same rule to everyone else?

A lot of people have been asking me why I don't eat (I am on a liquid diet). I just say "I've been unwell recently and this is helping me get my strength back and build me up a little," this usually satisfies people.

So maybe just say "I've been feeling unwell and losing weight recently, I'm not sure why just yet." Most people will probably sympathise and wish you well.

Unfortunately if it does turn out to be a long term thing, you will be answering these questions a lot. My tactic is just to be open about it. I don't broadcast my illness but if someone asks then I find being open is easier than trying to dodge difficult questions or lying about it.

Good luck and I hope you get some answers soon.
Please check out my blog all about understanding chronic illnesses....
05-14-2012, 02:18 PM   #3
mehtadone's Avatar
Join Date: Nov 2010
Location: United Kingdom
You could also try an amusing response that seems to be my defence mechanism.

"I know its great. If I could bottle it up and sell it, I'd make millions. Actually . . thats not a bad idea!"

"Really, I think you've just put on weight"

"Its the calm before the storm . . . "

"I've had the runs for the last few days. Ooo sh*t, here it comes again"

Diagnosed Crohnie 1990, Age 9.
Steroids, Diets, drugs etc
2001. 1st Resection - Feeling great.
2007. 2nd Resection - Feeling great again!!
2011. Fistula found. Bum surgery ongoing

Current meds
Traditional: Humira, 50mg Azathioprine, Calci-chew Forte D3
Supplements: Multivitamin, VSL

05-15-2012, 02:29 PM   #4
New Member
Join Date: May 2012
Location: dallas, Texas
Methadone...I LOVE the last one. I wish I had the nerve to say it.
05-16-2012, 04:55 PM   #5
Senior Member
wolfem's Avatar
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Tucson, Arizona
Yeah. Its hard but keep in mind that it will get better. I was upset for the longest time because my weight never gets above 109 and now at 96lbs
(5'5"), I'm so used to it that when people stare, I just think to myself, " I don't have an eating disorder. I do have a chronic illness and I eat eight meals a day. That's the best I can do right now."

Hope this advice helps
DX: 2010 Crohns (in remission), gastritis/acid reflux, TMJ and goiter
SX: Terminal ilieum resection
Past meds: Prednisone (short term), Pentasa
Current meds: Sertraline, Seroquel, Lorazepam (as needed)

Supplements: Trace min EOD, Fish oil, calcium+D, B12 sublingual + B complex, goat yogurt

05-16-2012, 05:52 PM   #6
Senior Member
QuicksWife's Avatar
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: Haslett, Michigan
Most of the people that I work with know I have crohns, so it doesn't bother me if they comment about how I look. when I first meet someone I want them to know I have the disease, so its not awkward later. Especially when I am having a flair up and need to use the rest room 20 times a day!

Diagnosed: November 2009
Meds: Prev on Lialda 1.25 mg two pills day
10-27-2011: Started on Pentasa: 4 times a day, 2 caps each time.
Born with out Thyroid & deaf in left ear.
05-17-2012, 05:39 PM   #7
Join Date: Apr 2012
You seem to be taking EXACTLY the right approach! You definitely don't want to spill your heart and soul to every Tom, Dick, and Harry that crosses your path. At the end of the day, it doesn't matter what people think of you. If someone's going to judge you, they obviously aren't close enough to you for you to want to share them with what's really going on and so let them think what they think. You're taking care of yourself, and you are okay, that's what matters.
05-17-2012, 09:34 PM   #8
New Member
Carlitosway's Avatar
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Toronto, Ontario
hey joanna I was diagnosed in oct 2011 with crohns I was 220 lbs 5'7 and now im 165 lbs.... I get that question all the time it bothered me at first but I got over it I just tell most ppl i have crohns 99.9% of the ppl I told didn't know what it is so I just say ''stomach problem'' I only explain it to my good friends... try not to let it bother you its something you cant control hope you get better.
05-17-2012, 10:50 PM   #9
Jennifer's Avatar
Reminds me that I ran into an old friend from high school recently. She used to call me "scrawny" both making fun of my last name and weight. I guess I just brushed her off cause I knew what was wrong with me and told some people about it. When I saw her recently she told my fiance that she used to call me scrawny cause I was so thin. I told her its because I was sick and that I have Crohn's disease and thought everyone knew that. Her face was priceless. She said, "You never told me that. I would have never called you that." Well, guess she wont be calling me that anymore. :P

For me I have no problem with honesty. All you have to do is say that you're sick and are trying to figure out what it is so you can treat it, but you don't have to go into details.
Diagnosis: Crohn's in 1991 at age 9
Surgeries: 1 Small Bowel Resection in 1999; Central IV in 1991-92
Meds for CD: 6MP 75mg
Things I take: Tenormin 25mg (PVCs and Tachycardia), Junel (endometriosis), Tylenol 3 (Osteoarthritis), Zantac 150mg 2/day (acid reflux), Klonopin 1mg (Panic Disorder), Imitrex 25mg (migraines), Zofran 8mg (nausea)
Currently in: REMISSION Thought it was a flare but it's just scar tissue from my resection. Dealing with a stricture. Remission from my resection, 19 years and counting.

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