If you or someone you care about has been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, you are not alone. In fact, there are 233,000 Canadians living with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), and 10,200 new cases are diagnosed every year. That is 1 in every 150 Canadians!
I don’t want to publish the next statistic, because I have a parent with IBD, and two children who are at risk due to the genetic component to the disease. Nevertheless, the fact is that people are more frequently diagnosed with IBD between the ages of 15 and 30.
And, having a child with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis can be an emotional roller coaster.
Chances are, you know a child with IBD. Sadly, I know three. The most recognized symptoms – fatigue, frequent or urgent diarrhea (possibly bloody), abdominal pain and cramping – are hard enough for adults to cope with. But with children, it’s next to impossible to explain to someone so young why they do not feel well. And, it can be equally hard as a parent to cope with seeing your child ill and dealing with the complications that go along with these diseases.
May 19th is World IBD Day; a global day of action to raise awareness of the disease. Throughout the day, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and the IBD Foundation will be posting information on their social networks about IBD, and many of the IBD associations linked to World IBD Day will be using the purple ribbon as a symbol of awareness and support for those living with the disease.
I encourage all of my readers to follow the #WorldIBDDay hashtag on their favourite social network to learn more about the signs and symptoms, the available treatments and medications, along with information on diet and nutrition and other resources available to you.
Currently, there is no known “cure” for Crohn’s or colitis. However, there are several strategies to combat symptoms and inflammation, which can help a child diagnosed with IBD to live a long life, free of the most devastating complications that can arise. Studies have shown that early diagnosis and treatment by a gastroenterologist is key for the best chance at remission.
By now, you’ve probably realized that I’m passionate about this subject. That’s why I’m pleased to partner with AbbVie Canada, the IBD Foundation and Dr. Eric Benchimol, Pediatric Gastroenterologist at Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO), based in Ottawa, Ontario, for a special #IBDKids Twitter Chat on Monday, May 29th at 8pm EST. If you or someone you know is living with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, I encourage you to attend our informative chat.
I have hope for a future where we’ll find a cure for inflammatory bowel disease. Until then, I’ll do my best to stay informed, and will continue to educate my friends, family and readers about how we can help fight this disease. For more information on IBD for children and adults, visit The IBD Foundation or the CHEO IBD Centre.
This post is sponsored by AbbVie. The opinions on this blog, as always, are my own.