Close-up of woman with neutral facial expression, writing by her face "But you look fine..."

But You Look Fine

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Same text as blog post, in poster format with background image of woman, hand in pocket, looking in the camera, with neutral expressionLiving with Crohn’s: Not all health issues are visible

By Nicole Morsfield

Prom and graduation parties are on the agenda of many high school seniors. But in late 2015, 17 year-old Shannon Tipton was concerned with stomach pain and rapid weight loss.

Tipton thought she just had food poisoning after traveling overseas, until she was diagnosed in 2017 with Crohn’s disease, which affects the digestive tract.

“It’s hard finding your limits realizing that you are a little bit more tired than you used to be,” she said.

Common assumptions, Tipton said, are that she’s overplaying her symptoms or just doesn’t want to do things.

“It’s just not the same as food poisoning or the stomach flu,” she said. “It’s surrounded with mental and physical hardships, and not just running to the bathroom.”

Living with Crohn’s has helped Tipton walk in others’ shoes.

“You don’t know what everyone’s going through,” she said. “Most people wouldn’t know I have Crohn’s just looking at me.”

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