Every year, May 19 marks an international day of action to raise awareness of inflammatory bowel disease, and to create connections and foster understanding for the estimted 10 million people worldwide who live with the chronic illness.
For World IBD Day 2018, we’re teaming up with our friends at the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation to take #IBDBeyondBorders. We’ll be opening up conversations about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis through a number of social media-based initiatives. Here’s how you can take part.
Pre-World IBD Day Twitter Chat
Thursday, May 17, 2018 | 7:00 p.m. EDT
Ahead of the Royal Wedding, which happens to be scheduled on World IBD Day, we’ll be hosting a Twitter chat focused on planning and participating in weddings and other special occasions when you live with Crohn’s or colitis. We’ll be joined by gastroenterologist, Dr. Mark Silverberg (@guthealthmd), and soon-to-be-married IBDer, Ashley Anderson (@tri_nutrition_). Join the conversation on Twitter with the hashtag #SayIDoWithIBD and follow us @getgutsycanada. This Twitter chat is supported by AbbVie Canada.
World IBD Day Twitter Chat
Saturday, May 19, 2018 | 12:00 p.m. EDT
Crohn’s and Colitis Canada and the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation will co-host a Twitter chat to get the world talking about inflammatory bowel disease. We want to know what living with IBD is like in different countries, what it’s like to travel with IBD, and what common ground we share when it comes to coping with the disease. Join the Twitter chat to hear from others and share your stories. Look for the hashtag #IBDBeyondBorders and follow @getgutsycanada and @CrohnsColitisFn on Twitter.
Saturday, May 19, 2018 | 3:00 p.m. EDT and 6:00 p.m. EDT
Head over to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada’s Facebook page at 3 p.m. EDT for a live, interactive talk about living with IBD and accessing care. We’ll be speaking to an IBD patient and an IBD specialist from the United States to better understand what IBD care looks like south of the border.
Then at 6:00 p.m. EDT, an IBD patient and an IBD specialist from Canada will be speaking live on the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation’s Facebook page to share their experiences on care here in the Great White North.
During both Facebook Live talks, you’ll be able to ask questions and share your experiences. Look out for the #IBDBeyondBorders hashtag and like @getgutsycanada and @ccfafb on Facebook.
Facts about IBD
It wouldn’t really be World IBD Day without spreading some knowledge about the disease. Here’s what you need to know about inflammatory bowel disease:
- IBD is an autoimmune disease that causes the body to attack itself, leading to the inflammation of all or part of the gastrointestinal tract.
- Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the two most common forms of IBD.
- Symptoms of IBD include abdominal pain, cramping, fatigue, internal bleeding, and frequent and urgent bowel movements, in some cases over 20 times a day.
- IBD is often an invisible disease, as many people who are diagnosed may look ‘normal’ on the outside but regularly deal with pain, exhaustion, and anxiety.
- Approximately 47% of people with Crohn’s disease and 16% of people with ulcerative colitis will require surgery at some point in their lives.
- Researchers believe IBD is caused by a combination of elements including genetics, environmental factors, and abnormal immune system responses.
- No particular foods have been proven to directly cause IBD, and there is no single special diet for people with inflammatory bowel disease.
- There is no known cure for IBD.
- Approximately 10 million people worldwide have IBD, including 250,000 in Canada. One Canadian is newly diagnosed with IBD every hour.
You’ll hopefully see more purple, which is the colour for IBD awareness. A number of landmarks around the world, including landmarks here in Canada, will be lit purple on May 19 for World IBD Day. If you spot one, snap a photo and share it on social media with the hashtag #IBDBeyondBorders.
Want to make a difference for the people impacted by IBD? Volunteer with us to bring support to your community, or make a donation so we can continue to fund vital research into Crohn’s and colitis.