Parenthood star Monica Potter posted a belly pic on Instagram Wednesday, causing some fans to speculate that she was pregnant, but it turns out that the photo was actually intended to raise awareness for colitis, from which she has since revealed she suffers.
Potter’s original pic was of her lifting her shirt and cradling her stomach. “I have something to share…” she captioned the shot.
Fans flooded the comments section with well wishes and congratulations, but on Thursday morning, the actress revealed the real reason for the photo. “So we posted something yesterday about my belly, and thank you for all of the well-wishes — I’m not pregnant,” she clarified in a video update.
She went on to explain that the post was intended to bring attention to the health issues that she and many others live with but don’t often talk about. “I wanted to bring to everyone’s awareness some issues that I’ve been having with my belly, and sometimes these issues aren’t talked about: colitis, Crohn’s, and getting a colonoscopy to diagnose what’s going on with our stomachs and intestinal problems.”
Colitis is an inflammatory bowel disease, and Potter said that in the two years she’s had it, she has suffered from painful flare-ups and more.
“It’s not something very glamorous,” she said. “I’ve had to wear adult diapers sometimes driving [daughter] Molly to school. … But I think finding the right healthcare provider and dealing with these issues can prolong your life and also diagnose things that you might not really understand.”
Potter stressed that her post was not “meant to be a joke.” She also urged people to get regular checkups on their stomach health, saying that she has lost friends to colon cancer.
“I decided to share a photo to possibly inspire my friends (you), create a platform to share stories, and rely on each other for support and guidance,” she said. “Please know you’re not alone.”
Watch Potter’s full video below.
Do you suffer from stomach issues like Monica Potter? Let us know @BritandCo.
(photo via Angela Weiss/Getty Images)