Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center | Going to College with IBD

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Contact the Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

  • 1-617-355-6058

Many of our patients with Inflammatory Bowel Disease find the adjustment to college to be slightly more complex than anticipated because of health issues. As you know, the first year at college can be very stressful. Furthermore, it might be the first time in your life that you are managing your health without your parents’ assistance.

In an effort to facilitate this transition and hopefully reduce stress, we have outlined some topics for your consideration.

Medical Care

  • Who will you contact if you are not feeling well?

  • How will you contact them? (telephone, email, via parents?)

  • What health services are available on campus?

  • If you need to leave a message for us, how can we return your call?

  • What is the best way to contact you? (voicemail, e-mail, page, telephone)

  • Is there a gastroenterologist near your college?

  • Should you make an introductory appointment in advance?

  • Should you have a copy of your records sent in advance?

  • If you need laboratory tests, where can you have blood drawn?

  • What is the FAX # of the Laboratory?

  • What kind of insurance coverage will you have while you are in school? Will you stay on your parents’ plan or get your own?


  • How much of a supply should you bring to college?

  • Where will you store your medications?

  • Will you tell your roommate about inflammatory bowel disease and/or why you are taking medication? What will you say to them?

  • What will you do if you run out of medications? What steps can you take to avoid running out of medications?

  • What is the address, FAX and phone # of the closest pharmacy?

  • Should prescriptions be sent in advance?


  • Will you tolerate cafeteria food?

  • Will you be getting enough calories?

  • Should you bring supplements?

  • Do you have any food restrictions?

  • Remember, many medications interact with alcohol, so you are advised to limit and/or avoid alcohol


  • Will you be living in a dormitory?

  • Will you have a roommate?

  • How accessible and private are the toilets?


  • There is a web site that you may find helpful for additional information:
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- Sandra L. Fenwick, President and CEO

Boston Children's Hospital
300 Longwood Avenue, Boston, MA 02115
For Patients: 617-355-6000
For Referring Providers: 844-BCH-PEDS | 844-224-7337