The Chronic Life Online: 15 Instagram Accounts to Follow

Social media, especially Instagram, can be a great place to turn to for inspiration, validation and connection when living with a chronic illness.

Living with a chronic illness can feel isolating, but connecting with others who know what it’s like can bring some relief. If you’re looking for some inspiration, or just a little extra validation that it’s totally OK to feel what you’re feeling, the chronic illness community on Instagram is a great place to turn. Here are some of the accounts we think you should be following.

Spoonies to Follow

#Spoonie secret tip of the day. When I speak at conferences, the high heel fashionista cute heels I wear are for "on stage" only and only for sitting. As soon as I walk off stage or I start walking around the conference or the street I put on the flats that I have hidden in my pocketbook, or backpack/ laptop bag. It's good to look good, but feeling good is better. My passion is to be a passion experience expert. To be a patient advocate, to be a #brandambassador and a better #blogger. I want to be the best friend, daughter and mother. But I can only do that if I take care of myself first….and sometimes that includes from the feet up! Lol #fashionflats #secrets #spoonie #spooniemom #spoonielife #spooniestrong #mylifeisalivingstory #DiMi #backstage #KlickIDX #bblogger #fashion #shoes #heels outfit by @zulily attitude and style all me! Hair by @glamrockhairextensions

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1. @butyoudontlooksick

Christine Miserandino, the mind behind Spoon Theory, serves as an advocate for those living with lupus and other invisible illnesses. The original #spoonie shares quotes and tidbits of her life with followers.

2. @warrior_yoga

Look no further for inspirational photos of yoga in scenic places. Yoga helped this ‘grammer understand and manage the pain from the autoimmune diseases she lives with, and her account serves to inspire and show others the beauty of yoga.

3. @zoeywrightfitness

The founder of #chronicallymotivated offers fitspo with a twist. Zoey is not afraid to show off her muscles – or her ileostomy bag. Despite living with inflammatory bowel disease, she has transformed her physique through diet and exercise, winning a bodybuilding competition in 2015.

4. @sodiumgirl

Jessica Goldman Foung, the author of Low-So Good, was diagnosed with lupus in 2004. which attacked her kidneys, leaving her in renal failure. She bounced back with the help of a low-sodium diet and now shares her recipes on her blog, Sodium Girl. Her Instagram account features drool-worthy food porn that proves you can lead a flavorful life, sans salt.

My fav crave: Homemade Açaí Bowl. This one is a frozen base of Açaí berry, strawberry, blueberries, coconut cream and collagen. Blended in the Vitamix and topped with fresh blackberries, raspberries, banana, mango, kiwi, goji berries (reintro – omit for AIP), shredded coconut, bee pollen and a sprig of mint. Sometimes I drizzle raw saffron-infused Manuka honey on top. The possibilities are endless. 🍇The Açaí berry is a powerful antioxidant which also helps stabilize blood sugar and insulin levels. 🐝Bee pollen is a nutrient dense natural wonder packed with vitamins, amino acids and protein. Dreaming of waking up to this bowl. xoxo Natasha @drnatashaf [#natashaaip] Any ideas for base mix or toppings?

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5. @autoimmunepaleo

Mickey Trescott and Angie Alt are bloggers who found each other through their autoimmune diseases. Their blog and Instagram account provide support to those with autoimmune diseases and helps others lead a healthy and active life with their conditions through paleo-friendly recipes. With so many tasty-looking food photos, their page is definitely a treat for both your eyes and your stomach!

Quinoa & Pecan Falafels with Minted Coconut Yoghurt Sauce 💚🍲 Repost from the incredibly lovely ladies @healthsynergy 😘 "Delicious falafel recipe from @thefodmapfriendlyvegan's ebook! So yum 👌🏼👌🏼" I honestly can't tell you just how happy it makes me to see you all recreating recipes from the eBook and my oh my what a mighty fine job you do!! 🏆 It can be difficult ensuring you are getting enough protein when adhering to a low-FODMAP vegan diet. This delicious #meatfreemonday recipe will ensure you're meeting all your muscle building nutritional requirements … and more! (Hola Arnie! 🙈🙋) Falafels are a great way to use any leftover beans and grains to create a delicious, high protein snack or meal. They are so versatile – enjoy them by themselves as snacks, or serve with this delicious minted coconut yoghurt dressing and a simple garden salad or steamed veggies to create a filling main meal. You can also experiment with different grains, beans (stick to well-soaked chickpeas or lentils), nuts, spices and herbs to create a range of flavours and textures. The best thing about this recipe is you can make it over the weekend & keep these stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.#workandschoollunchsorted 😱 The award-winning 195 FODMAP Friendly Vegan eBook is available for SALE on www.thefodmapfriendlyvegan.com << lots of yummy vegan, low FODMAP, gluten, dairy & refined sugar free recipes + heaps of resources (equipment, exercise, supplements, shopping, high/low FODMAP guides) 📔

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6. @thefodmapfriendlyvegan

Sharon, who blogs as The FODMAP Friendly Vegan, creates and shares colorful plant-based recipes. All the recipes are low in FODMAPs, which have been linked to flare ups in some people with IBS and IBD. Whether you’re interested in trying out a low FODMAP diet or not, get ready to be inspired to whip up some tasty vegan food!

Garrett: Well I think it's fair to say we were nowhere near prepared for today. When your doctor mentions a muscle biopsy, you don't imagine your doctor making a 2-3 inch incision in your skin, through any fat, and through the outer and inner layer of muscle, with you completely conscious, and only lidocaine to help. Not only that, but the doctor had to stitch each layer back up afterward. I wish we would have known. I also wish the doctor (who was incredibly nice, which helped more than one would think) would have allowed at least one of us to be in the room for the procedure, but we had no such luck, understandably of course. After a horrifying 45 minute wait, we rushed back to see Kitty, who had been reduced to a ball of pain and tears. I had never heard such real pain in Kitty's voice through everything she's had to endure the last 5 years until today. Now she is stuck in bed for 72 hours except to use the restroom, and test results will not start coming in for at least 3 weeks. Needless to say she will be waited on, hand and foot, for at least the next 72 hours. You are a big brave dog, Kitty, and we are all so incredibly inspired by your toughness and bravery.❤️

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7. @chronically_fabulous

Founder of the Etsy shop Chronically Fabulous, Kat Crawford brings awareness to chronic illness through fashionable means. In addition to her merchandise, she shares honest photos about her life, advocating for the fact that you can still be fabulous while living with chronic illness.

#HospitalGlam #examroomselfie #hashtagsforever #chronicbabe #spoonie #invisibleillness #chronicpain

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8. @chronicbabe

Jenni Prokopy is a motivational speaker, author and founder of Chronicbabe.com, an online community aimed to help younger women with chronic conditions. Her Instagram account features fun photos of her hobbies and daily inspiration to help you face the many frustrations of living with an invisible illness.

9. @hurtblogger

Britt Johnson wants to change what you think is possible when living with chronic illnesses. She’s bringing awareness to life with arthritis and spondylitis, which can make exercise difficult and are perceived to be conditions that primarily affect the elderly. See her engage in an active lifestyle of climbing, running and swimming, while being open and honest about the challenges along the way.

It's been quite a journey to even be able to be here (crutches for 3.5 years, dead bones, autoimmune issues, depression, anxiety, CRPS, Melanoma. . .) but I feel like it's helped me on my path to find my true north. This weekend has been so freaking amazing. My body is like "what the F is with all these power flows", but honestly. . . I walk through this resort and am so freaking grateful to be able to even WALK! SUP Yoga is something I've wanted to do, but never could because of my knee. I did it today! Walking 10k steps in a day was something that made me wanna cry if I thought about it. I almost hit that yesterday! So grateful 🙏🏼 Om shanti shanti #wanderlust #wanderlust2016 #wanderlustfestival #findyourtruenorth

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10. @itsjustabaddaynotlife

Life with a chronic condition means that there are good days and bad days. Julie Cerrone is a holistic health coach and yoga instructor who wants others to know that the bad days should not define your life. Her Instagram account features modified yoga poses and positive vibes.

11. @natashalipman

Take a glimpse into the life of Natasha Lipman, a blogger focused on chronic illness, food and health. Though she started out writing about the dietary and lifestyle changes she was engaging in, she turned to more serious discussions about living with chronic conditions, as blogging about her health helped her manage the uncertainty of her illnesses and different diagnoses. Her accounts highlights the work she’s doing for the chronic illness community and the delicious food she eats. Follow along to see what she’s up to.

12. @sufferingthesilence

Suffering the Silence, founded by Allie Cashel and Erica Lupinacci, is an organization focused on providing a space for those with chronic illnesses and disabilities to share their stories.Their campaign to end the stigma of chronic illness through photos features individuals with the name of their invisible illness written on their arm, and their mouths covered with one hand to represent their silent struggle. Each post highlights an individual who has an inspiring story and is providing a voice for the chronically ill, so others know that they are not alone.

published a post about #endometriosis today and made this face in a picture

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13. @laraeparker

Buzzfeed Editor Lara Parker was diagnoses with endometriosis and related conditions after years of struggling to understand what was going on with her body. She has written about her experiences on both Buzzfeed and her personal blog as a means of coping and building awareness. Her work has helped start conversations and bring awareness to what life is like living with endometriosis. Lara’s sense of humor, in spite of living with severe endometriosis pain, shines clear through in her posts.

14. @lymewithjoy

Hannah is a teenage girl who faces constant pain and struggle due to chronic Lyme disease. She blogs about her daily life with her illness, actively fighting the controversy and misperceptions over Lyme disease, and uses Instagram to connect with and help others who share her experience.

|| And then I realized that to be more alive, I had to be less afraid so I did it. I lost my fear and gained my whole life💚💛 || I can finally do my, "I finished school" post!🎉🎉 Now, you might be wondering why this is so important🤔 so I will tell you. This is the first year I have attended a FULL year of school in 7 years!😱😱 7 years!!! (That's so crazy) I never thought college for me would be possible, that I would just surrender to my illnesses halfway through the year and quit, but something has changed. Not physically, but mentally I have become stronger. This year I learned to push through the pain and misery because I now, I am closer to achieving my dream of being a doctor and I can no longer give up because no one can help me. If I gave up in college, I wouldn't have tutors and understanding teachers and staff, like middle and high school, I would most likely be kicked out..and that would be bad🙊 I feel like although I'm still incredibly far away from becoming a doctor, I'm on the direct path to it and that's what motivates me. 1 year down, many more to go. I'm so proud of myself and it can only get better from here.😌 now excuse me while I go sleep for 3 months😴 #crohnswarriorgoestocollege

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15. @crohnswarrior

At first glance, 18-year-old Kirsten’s account looks a lot like the average teenager’s. And that’s the point! In her selfies and mirror shots, Kirsten, who has Crohn’s disease, fearlessly displays her GJ tube. Working to normalize chronic and invisible illness all before your second year of college? Nice work!

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