World IBD Day 2017

"World IBD Day" text on a purple background
IBD can be hard to see
Inflammatory bowel disease causes the body to attack itself, leading to inflammation of all or part of the gastrointestinal tract. Because of that inflammation, people with IBD have to endure abdominal pain, cramps, bloating, fatigue, frequent and urgent bowel movements, internal bleeding, and unintended weight loss. Many of these symptoms aren’t readily noticeable, which often renders IBD an invisible disease.
IBD can be hard to talk about
People with inflammatory bowel disease can spend an undue amount of time in the washroom. Diarrhea is hallmark symptom of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two main forms of IBD. Because of ulcerations in the gastrointestinal tract, that diarrhea can often be bloody. Bowel movements come on with urgency, and people with IBD may have accidents if they can’t get to a washroom in time.
But wait, there’s more
Crohn’s and colitis are not merely diseases that involve increased bowel movements. Symptoms of IBD can occur outside the gastrointestinal tract: eye inflammation, joint inflammation, liver disease, osteoporosis, skin lesions, and mouth sores can all be complications of the disease.
It’s time to spread the word
Approximately 5 million people around the world, including 250,000 in Canada, live with inflammatory bowel disease. World IBD Day gives people impacted by IBD an opportunity to raise awareness of their challenges, highlight the importance of research and treatment, and have conversations about a disease that isn’t always visible and isn’t always discussed.
Throughout the day on May 19, we'll be posting IBD facts on our social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram), which you're encouraged to share. If you’ve been affected by IBD, use the day to share your story – either privately with those close to you, or publicly on social media with the hashtag #WorldIBDDay.
Representatives from IBD organizations from around the world, including Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, will take part in a YouTube Live video on May 19 from 3-4 p.m. EDT. Tune in to see how we're working to better the lives of everyone impacted by IBD.
Keep your eyes peeled for purple
The purple ribbon is a symbol of IBD awareness and support, and landmarks around the world will be lit purple on May 19 in a show of unity with everyone who is taking on inflammatory bowel disease. Look for these Canadian landmarks to be aglow in purple:
- Halifax City Hall
- Montreal City Hall
- CN Tower
- TORONTO sign at Nathan Phillips Square
- Absolute World (Mississauga)
- Bridge 13 (Welland)
- Peace Bride (Fort Erie)
- Skylon Tower (Niagara Falls)
- Niagara Falls
- Lafarge Lake Fountain (Coquitlam)
- Coquitlam City Hall
- Port Coquitlam City Hall
- Sky Train Guideway Pillars (Central Coquitlam)
- Science World (Vancouver)
- Vancouver City Hall
- British Columbia Legislature (Victoria)
Join is on May 19 as we show the world the impact of inflammatory bowel disease and the strength of everyone who confronts it.

  • Canada has among the highest incidence rates of Crohn's and colitis in the world.
  • 1 in 140 Canadians lives with Crohn’s or colitis.
  • Families new to Canada are developing these diseases for the first time.
  • Incidence of Crohn’s in Canadian kids under 10 has doubled since 1995.
  • People are most commonly diagnosed before age 30.

Other Areas of Interest