Best Gifts for People Living With IBD

You may wonder what would be a good gift for someone with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Anything that would help them live more comfortably, or maybe ease a symptom such as pain or fatigue, would be welcome in most cases. Either that or a fun distraction that can be enjoyed by someone who might be housebound or does not have a lot of energy is also a good idea. Here are some gift ideas for people who have IBD.


Flowering Tea Kit

Happy couple drinking a cup of tea
Credit: Cultura/JAG IMAGES

People who have IBD love a good cup of tea. After all, it's the better half of the "tea and toast" diet, and some teas are allowed on the clear liquid diet that might be used after surgery or before a colonoscopy. A flowering tea kit will really be a hit. These kits often come complete with several varieties of flowering tea, and a glass teapot. The tea opens up as it steeps, turning into a lovely flower. It's a wonderful way to relax and enjoy the experience of tea.


Back Massager

A back massager is a good gift for anyone, but it will be especially welcome for anyone who has IBD. Arthritis is a common complication of IBD, affecting 15-20% of patients with Crohn's disease and 10% of those with ulcerative colitis. Aches and pains can really get overwhelming, but applying a little heat and some massage can really do wonders.


Foot Massager

And while getting a massage for that aching back, why not pay attention to the feet, which can also be affected by arthritis. The rest of the body can feel fine, but when feet hurt, it's hard to get forget about those tired dogs. Foot massagers—dry or wet—really work well to make anyone with IBD feel better all over.



IBD can sometimes cause fevers, which may lead to night sweats. Night sweats pretty much make a person miserable all night and then tired all day from lack of sleep. Being able to cool down quickly will help in being comfortable. This pillow, the Chillow, contains water, so it stays cool.


Bath Massage Mat

For those who can't afford a hot tub or a whirlpool bath, a massaging bath mat is the next best thing. It can turn your bathtub into a muscle-relaxing experience that can wash the day off and help take some of the muscle pain of IBD away. Moist heat is recommended for easing peripheral arthritis that plagues some people with IBD.


Toiletry Kit

It's a good idea for people with IBD to carry some essentials with them at all times, such as hand sanitizer, wet wipes, and medication. A travel kit is a great way to store all these items and have them handy. With IBD, there might not be time to wait for a clean bathroom—sometimes going with what's available is the only choice, and the facilities may be missing toilet paper or soap. Kits that hang from a hook or doorknob are especially useful.


Boscia Body Cream

IBD can leave you dehydrated from diarrhea and vomiting. Everyone needs a good moisturizer, especially in the winter. Boscia body cream is the best I've ever used. It is more expensive than those found at the drugstore, but it's still a bargain because a little bit goes a long way.


Mini Refrigerator

If an IBDer is in a bad flare or has had surgery, it can mean resting in bed for several days. Having a mini-fridge nearby was a lifesaver for me when I could not easily navigate the stairs to go down to the kitchen after surgery. Water and healthy snacks were close at hand in my little fridge in my room. These refrigerators are remarkably affordable and will fit just about anywhere.


Donation to the CCFA

A donation on someone else's behalf is always a thoughtful gift. A donation to the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation (or one of the many sister organizations throughout the world) supports the many programs that benefit people with IBD. In some cases, there may be gifts available that help a support group raise funds. 

A Word From Verywell

Gifts of food or things like gift certificates to things that are away from home may not be the most welcome gift for people with IBD. There are many gifts that a person with a chronic illness will find helpful and useful, especially those that involve self-care. Showing a little understanding of what it's like to live with IBD through a gift will be a great comfort to a friend.

5 Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. MedlinePlus. Clear liquid diet.

  2. Orchard TR. Management of arthritis in patients with inflammatory bowel diseaseGastroenterol Hepatol (N Y). 2012;8(5):327–329.

  3. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Arthritis of the foot and ankle.

  4. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

  5. Cleveland Clinic. What's better for soothing arthritis pain? Ice or heat?

By Amber J. Tresca
Amber J. Tresca is a freelance writer and speaker who covers digestive conditions, including IBD. She was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 16.