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“The Gut Feeling”: life with IBD

“The Gut Feeling”: life with IBD

Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD), such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, can cause individuals to experience daily symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, fever, and extreme fatigue. Nevertheless, the impact of this disease often extends beyond the physical symptoms, influencing the social and emotional aspects of a person's life as well. Think for example of impacts on a person’s sexuality, energy levels, and dietary habits. These impacts can result in significant challenges for individuals living with IBD, making it challenging to participate in daily activities, maintain relationships, and achieve a fulfilling quality of life. Understanding and addressing these challenges is therefore crucial for individuals to improve their overall wellbeing and lead fulfilling lives. That's why we launched the podcast series “The Gut Feeling”, to make IBD a more approachable topic.

IBD in a nutshell

Chronic inflammation of all or part of the digestive tract is known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). It is an immune-mediated disease in which the immune system reacts incorrectly to environmental factors, such as viruses or bacteria, causing the intestine to become inflamed. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are the two primary conditions that fall under the umbrella term of IBD. While they share some similarities, they also differ in their impact on the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis affects only the large intestine or colon, while Crohn's disease can affect any part of the digestive tract. 1

To raise awareness about IBD and its impact on patients, Janssen Belgium has launched ‘The Gut Feeling’, this can be watched via MyIBDTV on YouTube, or listened to on Spotify. The podcast series offers valuable insights into the disease, its symptoms, and how it impacts patients' daily lives, including their sexuality, energy levels, and dietary habits. By providing a platform for patients to share their experiences and connect with others, Janssen Belgium aims to make IBD a more approachable topic and offer support to individuals affected by the disease.

"The Gut Feeling" about IBD and fatigue

Fatigue is one of the most common complaints of people with IBD.2 While it is normal to feel tired from time to time, for people with IBD, fatigue can feel like a feeling of tiredness or lack of energy that does not go away after resting or sleeping. Yet, even among people with IBD, fatigue can be experienced differently. While for some, fatigue becomes a constant in their lives, for others, fatigue tends to be unpredictable, sudden, and without warning. Understanding which activities can affect the onset of fatigue is key in finding the right treatment. Tune in to learn from sports journalist Imke Courtois and other experts about how you can adjust your lifestyle to better cope with fatigue symptoms in Season 1 of ‘The Gut Feeling’.

"The Gut Feeling" about IBD and intimacy & sexuality

One of the challenges that accompany an IBD diagnosis, besides fatigue, is the loss of lust. A large number of men and women living with IBD report a decreased desire for sex as a result of the physical and mental implications that an IBD diagnosis brings about.3 Making this topic more accessible for patients is therefore extra important. Listen to sexologist and relationship therapist Chloé de Bie as she engages in conversation with health experts about the challenges, causes and ways to deal with intimacy and sexuality with IBD in Season 2 of ‘The Gut Feeling’.

"The Gut Feeling" about IBD and nutrition

IBD is more likely to appear when the immune system reacts incorrectly to environmental triggers, such as bacteria. That's why finding a good diet is crucial to restoring the balance between helpful and harmful bacteria and alleviating symptoms.4,5 Asking yourself questions such as ‘which food products trigger my symptoms’ and ‘which food products am I better of avoiding’ are a good starting point, yet might not cover it all. Listen to nutritionist Pascale Naessens as she discusses these topics and more in Season 3 of ‘The Gut Feeling’ or watch the episode on MyIBDTV.

There is not a right diet for every patient for every moment with the condition, but there is a target. That healthy diet does not fit every moment and has to be built up.

Julie Vanderstappen


Learn more about Janssen

Would you like to know more about IBD? Then read more about our activities in the field of IBD or immunology. You can also learn more about Janssen's activities in Belgium and what working at Janssen iss like. And follow us on social media via Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to keep up to date with current developments.


© Janssen-Cilag – EM-127995 – Approval date: 04-2023 - vu/er Luc Van Oevelen, Antwerpseweg 15-17, 2340 Beerse