Aired December 16, 2014
Typically, when Sunny Anderson visits our show, her segments are filled with fun, laughter and light-hearted goodness that have made her such a popular guest with our audience.
But today, she's here to talk about something very serious: her 20-year battle with ulcerative colitis.
Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that primarily affects the digestive track. During a flare-up, the large intestine (colon) and rectum become inflamed and tiny ulcers and small abscesses form.
"The main issue with my disease is malabsorption of nutrients," Sunny tells Rachael. "So, [when I think I’m feeding myself] healthy food, my body doesn't care. It treats the food like an enemy and pushes it right out."
Naturally, the disease has greatly shaped Sunny's outlook on life.
"People ask me why I'm so happy,” Sunny says. “Part of the reason that I'm happy is, I have a disease that I know for sure people die from. I know for sure people lose body parts from [it]. I know for sure people [with ulcerative colitis] go through really difficult days. Some people actually live in the hospital with it.”
"To think that I could walk around, still chase my dreams, still eat the way I want to eat ... I feel really lucky."
To help educate, inspire and inform others living with IBD, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, Sunny has teamed up with Janssen Biotech, Inc. and the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America to launch GetYourFullCourse.com. The site offers all the diet, nutrition and treatment information you need to live well with IBD.
To learn more about Get Your Full Course, click here.