9 Instagrammers With Crohn's Disease You'll Love

Looking to add some IBD inspo to your Insta feed? Follow this diverse group of Crohnies who are sharing the raw and real sides of living with a chronic illness.

Patient Expert

Chronic illness can make you feel isolated—especially when you have a stigmatized condition like Crohn's disease, a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

But there are more people out there with Crohn's disease than you might think, and they're sharing their stories publicly with the world—including you, so you don’t have to feel so alone. Here are nine of the most inspiring Instagram accounts run by Crohnies you should follow right now.

1. rvanvoorhis

Ryan Van Voorhis is one of the co-founders of Nude Dude Food, a catering company in Chicago—and he also happens to be Crohn's patient advocate. His account gives followers a look at what it’s like to live his life with Crohn’s, whether he’s lifting weights, riding his motorcycle, hanging out with his two dogs, or cooking anti-inflammatory meals alongside the other Nude Dudes. Ryan is also an ostomate—in fact, he’s been one for 15 years—so you’ll occasionally catch him posting a candid mirror selfie along with captions about his ostomy or his experiences as a counselor at Camp Oasis, a summer camp for kids with IBD. Ryan's account is a great follow for those of us who want to be inspired to follow our passions with IBD.

2. kristenschronicles

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Now you see it, now you don’t. . If you didn’t know me, would you know I have an ostomy? When you first receive your ostomy it is going to feel like your entire world centers around it- and that’s OK. But I can honestly tell you that as time goes on, you will adjust and adapt. Suddenly, you find yourself going a few extra hours without consciously thinking about it. Then you find yourself moving throughout your entire day without focusing on it. . I am a busy person and most days, I am so busy that my ostomy is not even on my mind. It is simply there, keeping me alive. I know this may seem impossible when you are fresh out of surgery, but I promise a day will come that your ostomy becomes so much a part of you that you see it as you do your hand or your foot- something you don’t consciously focus on all day. . Have patience with your body AND your mind as you adjust and adapt to your new life. Measure your progress by weeks or months, not days, and you will be amazed at just how far you have come 💜 . . . . . #ostomy #ileostomy #stoma #ostomate #crohns #bodypositivity #ostomylife #ostomyfashion #crohnsdisease #colitis #uc #ibd #inflammatoryboweldisease

A post shared by Kristen Elizabeth (@kristenschronicles) on

Kristen Elizabeth is the positive redhead behind kristenschronicles, where she shares her everyday experiences with her permanent ileostomy and IBD. Kristen is one of many IBD patients whose diagnosis is “indetermine colitis,” or “Crohn’s colitis,” which means her Crohn’s is limited to her colon. She shares advice about living with IBD as she navigates her own highs and lows. As her bio states, "be the light," and she does just that—if you're looking for a big smile to brighten up your feed, give Kristen a follow.

3. thegrumblinggut

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WHAT ARE THE SURGICAL OPTIONS FOR IBD? - Recent advances such as the development of biological drugs have produced increasingly effective medical therapies for Crohn’s Disease. There have also been changes in the way surgery for Crohn’s is managed. For example, extensive resections are now less common. However, surgery remains an important treatment option, often in combination with medical therapies. It is estimated that up to eight out of 10 people with Crohn’s will need surgery at some point in their lives. - Limited right hemicolectomy: If the first part of the ascending colon is also affected, the surgeon may remove this as well, before joining up the rest of the colon. This is a limited right hemicolectomy. - Colectomy with ileostomy: For those with severe Crohn’s Disease in the large intestine or colon, it may sometimes be necessary to remove most or all of the colon. The surgeon then brings the end of the small intestine out through an opening in the wall of the abdomen. This is an ileostomy or stoma. A bag is fitted onto the opening to collect waste. - Colectomy with ileo-rectal anastomosis: Sometimes when the rectum has remained healthy it may be possible to have a colectomy with ileo-rectal anastomosis. In this operation the colon is removed, but instead of creating an ileostomy, the surgeon joins the end of the ileum to the rectum. This operation is not advisable if the rectum is severely inflamed or scarred, or if the anal muscles have been damaged. - Proctocolectomy and ileostomy: If the rectum is also affected by inflammation it may have to be removed along with the colon and the anal canal, in an operation known as a proctocolectomy. The surgeon will then create an ileostomy in the same way as for a colectomy. This form of surgery is irreversible. - For more information see: https://www.crohnsandcolitis.org.uk/about-inflammatory-bowel-disease/publications/surgery-for-crohns-disease - - - - - #thegrumblinggut #crohnsdisease #ulcerativecolitis __________________ Instagram: @thegrumblinggut Facebook.com/thegrumblinggut Twitter.com/thegrumblinggut YouTube.com/thegrumblinggut www.thegrumblinggut.com

A post shared by Ziyad | Crohn’s Disease (@thegrumblinggut) on

Ziyad is the Crohn’s disease warrior behind The Grumbling Gut. Through his Instagram, he shares tons of information about different topics relating to IBD and Crohn's disease—including stomas, pregnancy and reproductive health, travel, surgery, fatigue, and more. He also interacts with his audience frequently, asking them through polls in his Story what topics they want to learn more about. A diagnostic radiographer by trade, Ziyad always backs up his statements with research and even shares the occasional study.

4. healthyhappygab_

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AYOOOO!!! Had an iced capp last night for the first time in a literal year because my colon wasn’t there to ruin it 😭😭😭 the body is so wild!!! And swipe to see me kickin it today!! I got up standing, had a shower and went for a walk down the hall😴 I’m so tired and my tummy is soooo bloated with air from surgery!!!!!! • Making big moves!!! So much to learn about my stoma and changing my bag. Lots of healing for my body left to do. But I’m feeling so much happier and optimistic about moving forward 🤟🏼🔅💕 plus I got that damn stupid rectal drain out. thank you for all the love on this new journey! It’s certainly overwhelming but I can’t wait to be healthy again #gabbysglowup2019 • • • #crohnsdisease #chronicpain #ileostomy #colitis #crohnsawareness #crohnsdiet #crohns #mentalhealthawareness #fatigue #like #follow #growth #healing #lifestyleblogger #timhortons #invisibleillness #wellness #ibd #colon #prednisone #colon #pain #healthylifestyle #hospital #chronicfatiguesyndrome #wellness #timhortons #canada #crohnsandcolitisfoundationofamerica #ellen #ellendegeneres #bellletstalk

A post shared by Gab / Crohn's Disease (@healthyhappygab_) on

Gabby is the patient advocate behind healthyhappygab_. She's had Crohn's disease for seven years and got a permanent ileostomy in 2019. Throughout her hospital stays and surgery, she shares the raw realities of living with Crohn’s and how she's coping through the tough times. For her fellow Crohnies, she posts helpful bag change videos, body confidence tips, and even shared how she stayed positive through her first bag leak experience. Check out her Story Highlights to see what books she’s reading, foods she eats with her condition, and more.

5. spoonieironman

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Happy World Ostomy Day! I remember a day when I thought life was going to end because of my ostomy. That I wouldn't be able to do anything and it would take life away from me. _ Little did I know that I would fall in love with my ostomy because it did the exact opposite and gave me my life back. It allowed me to do more than I ever thought possible with a chronic illness. _ I'll can't lie about how much it scared me to get one and how hard the first months were. Leaving to adjust to a new way of life. But I decided to make the most of it, not only accepting my ostomy, but loving the fact it has done so much for me. _ My ostomy is the reason I was able to go from bedridden to Ironman! . . . #chronicallybetteryou #chronicillness #ostomyday #ostomy #spoonie #diabetes #cerebralpalsy #crohns #asthma #cancerawareness #epilepsyawareness #healthyhabits #invisibleillness #chronicdisease #autoimmunedisease #rheumatoidarthritis #idontlooksick #lymedisease #lupus #worldostomyday #ibd #fibromyalgia #ironmantri #chronicpainwarrior #butyoudontlooksick #spooniestrong #spoonielife #mentalhealthawareness #depression

A post shared by BrianGreenberg.Blog (@spoonieironman) on

We'd be doing a disservice if we didn't highlight our own HealthCentral patient expert and social ambassador, Brian Greenberg. Brian is a triathlete who doesn’t let his Crohn’s disease or ostomy slow him down (“Ironman” is in his username for a reason!). His Instagram feed has no shortage of images that show his passion for racing, his dog, Aspen, his wife, and the ups and downs of living with Crohn’s. Follow Brian if you’re looking to boost your fitness and physical activity while living with Crohn’s—you’re sure to be motivated by his training for races and the insights he shares about his health along the way.

6. sammmreid

Sam Reid runs a blog called "Sicker Than Your Average” where she talks about surviving and thriving with Crohn’s disease—and she takes that goal to her Instagram, too. This woman is open and honest about her disease—plus, she's an incredible advocate for the Crohn's disease and chronic illness community. She's had Crohn's for nine years and touts the silver linings she's found along the way. Sam always shares the latest book she's reading, along with stories from her infusion days, hanging with her cats, friends, and everything in between. Her empowering, no-BS attitude is infectious.

7. joecrohnicles

Joe is a Crohn's warrior and Navy veteran who shares his passion for training and Ironman competitions on his Instagram account. You can also find posts showing his love for food, travel, and yoga—which he pursues even with his IBD. Joe is also a self-proclaimed Christ follower and uses verses throughout his posts, showing how his spirituality can help him get through his Crohn’s experiences. Even when he’s sharing from the hospital, he isn’t afraid to bare all to show the realities of chronic illness.

9. ileostomy_crohn_princess

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Today, 4 years ago I had my total colectomy and they also made a new Ileostomy because my old one had Crohn ulcers and was just eaten away. • 4 years ago was also the day I woke up from surgery with a horrible complication, my left arm was paralyzed shoulder down. • I never live in the past, but these moments and dates I will always remember and celebrate even! It shows how far I've come, all the obstacles I had to face and the fact I came out of it even stronger at the end! 🙌🏻 • A nerve in my shoulder was cut off for 5 hours during the procedure, I had to learn how to use it again, and it took a lot of dedication and hard work. I can still remember the crippling pain once the feeling in my arm came back, it was a nightmare, I nightmare I woke up from due to my own strength. • There is no greater accomplishment in the world than going on when you actually want to give up! ❤ • I'm off to celebrate yall!!! CELEBRATE LIFE! 🎉

A post shared by Name: Wieke, IBD / Ostomy (@ileostomy_crohn_princess) on

Wieke Kotten is from the Netherlands and is a tour de force in the Crohn's disease community. She's had her diagnosis since 1999 and received her ileostomy in 2012. On her Instagram, Wieke shares facts about chronic illness, bag change videos, and some intense before-and-after photos from the times she was very sick to show the progress she’s made. She's also an ostomy underwear model and promotes body positivity, especially for women, to rock out with their bags out.

These Crohn’s disease influencers are sure to liven up your Instagram feeds, all while educating and motivating you. Maybe it will even inspire you to open up more about your own IBD journey? Either way, we hope following these patient advocates helps you feel a bit less alone and even more connected to the supportive IBD community.

See more helpful articles:

Top 10 Ulcerative Colitis Instagrammers You Should Follow

When Disaster Strikes: What to Pack in Your IBD 'Go Bag'

9 Tips for Moving to a New City With Crohn's Disease