World IBD Day 2023: What are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis?
World IBD Day takes place on Friday, May 19 to raise awareness of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD).
The day is coordinated by the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EDCCA) and has been held since 2010.
More than 11 million are affected worldwide by both diseases and almost 50,000 people can die from them each year. Half a million people have IBD in the UK.
IBD Day, which is always on May 19, can help raise awareness of symptoms and management to help sufferers.
Today is World IBD Day.
Sending love to everyone affected by Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis or any other form of IBD. #WorldIBDDay #Crohns #Colitis #IBD #InflammatoryBowelDisease pic.twitter.com/3J5pzmEAXT
— All On The Board (@allontheboard) May 19, 2023
In the UK, the 2023 campaign will carry the slogan #PoowithPride. CCUK, the British arm of the charity, said the slogan aims to “draw attention to what is often a concern for IBD patients on a day-to-day basis: having a bowel movement when away from home”.
CCUK has launched a toolkit with resources on its website and also a TikTok channel to promote the occasion.
Salvo Leone, EDCCA chairman, said: “It’s amazing to see so many people from different countries come together in order to raise awareness for these devastating diseases.”
What is Crohn’s disease?
Sending love & light to anyone with Crohn’s or Colitis in support of World IBD Day this week 💜 x #crohns #colitis #ibd #WorldIBDDay pic.twitter.com/VsuF0aqGSw
— Tom Speight (@TomSpeightMusic) May 18, 2023
Crohn’s disease can affect people of all ages and is a lifelong condition where parts of the digestive system become inflamed.
Symptoms usually start in childhood or early adulthood and include diarrhoea, stomach aches and cramps, blood in your poo, tiredness and weight loss.
The NHS advises seeing a doctor if you have had persistent symptoms.
While there is no cure, medicines can reduce inflammation and surgery can remove part of the digestive system.
What is ulcerative colitis?
WORLD IBD DAY 2023
15 years ago my life changed. I told my Paralympic dreams was over due to my Crohn’s disease diagnosis. 15 years on, I managed to win every major medal on offer. Always chase after adversity to realise what you’re truly capable off. #worldibdday2023 pic.twitter.com/IsjG2iwbLy
— Ali Jawad PLY (@AliJawad12) May 19, 2023
Ulcerative colitis is also a long-term condition where the colon and rectum become inflamed.
The NHS says small ulcers can develop on the colon’s lining, and can bleed and produce pus, with symptoms including recurring diarrhoea, which may contain blood, mucus or pus.
“The severity of the symptoms varies, depending on how much of the rectum and colon is inflamed and how severe the inflammation is,” NHS guidance states.
For some, ulcerative colitis can be an everyday issue while others can go for weeks or months without symptoms before having a flare-up.
Symptoms can also include painful and swollen joints, mouth ulcers, swollen fat under the skin causing bumps and patches, irritated and red eyes and problems with bones.
In the UK, around 296,000 people have ulcerative colitis.