Support groups helping patients with Ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease and irritable bowel syndrome to share their experiences and managing the disease.

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease are diseases of the intestinal tract. These are incurable diseases and are quite immune to treatment. Quite often, this disease is associated with irritable bowel syndrome as some of the symptoms are the same. Millions worldwide suffer from this disease.

People suffering from Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease find that they are unable to perform their normal work duties resulting in heavy absenteeism from work. This results in low productivity and is a major concern for companies.

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease have common symptoms such as diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain and nausea. Both the diseases are different in manner in which they affect the digestive tract. It is a most frustrating disease to deal with as patients find it difficult to discuss the problems with friends and close ones.

Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's disease sufferers go into depression and anxiety. The doctors who care for these diseases advise counseling and encourage patients to join support groups. The Ulcerative Colitis support groups encourage members to discuss their problems with each other. Members also feel freer to discuss symptoms that they have. They also compare the various tests they have undergone and the treatment that is being carried out. Discussing with others having the same problem gives many patients relief and comfort. However, there are some people who resist the idea of counseling or group support because they are shy to discuss with other members about the problems they have.

There are various Crohn's disease support groups in most of the developed countries. In the US, there are currently about 50 such groups. Similarly, there are numerous organizations in Australia and New Zealand. These groups also undertake research studies for the benefit of the members.

In some countries, these support groups have well structured online forums on Crohn's disease. They also support social interaction, provide information about care of the disease and other subjects which are of general interest. Members are encouraged to actively participate and share any benefits they have derived from their individual treatment program.

Doctors and health care professionals encourage patients suffering from ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease or irritable bowel syndrome to actively participate in these support groups. They feel by joining the support group, patients would overcome depression and anxiety that they sometimes feel. The support groups have been found to play an important role in helping patients manage the disease.

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