Throughout the world an estimated five million people live with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, known as inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)
Today marks World IBD Day, which we at the Taymount Clinic fully support as a means of highlighting the profound difficulties that those suffering with diseases of the gut have to endure.
World IBD Day is an annual event where sufferers not only are momentarily put under an increased spotlight, but also where those looking for a cure unite together.
The more attention IBD can garner the better because there is no doubt that it is a problem on the rise and its debilitating effects are certainly making the media sit up and take note.
For instance, the number of young people admitted to hospital with Crohn’s disease in England and Wales has soared in recent times. The Health and Social Care Information Centre says 4,937 16 to 29-year-olds were admitted for treatment in England in 2003/4. In 2013, the latest year for which we have figures it rose to 19,405!
No one can say for sure why IBD is on the increase although, of course, many have their own views.
Some say it is genetics, whilst others believe it is due to environmental factors. Rapid rises in occurrence like we have witnessed recently, are unlikely to be genetic and most likely to be diet-based or environmentally triggered.
However, what cannot be disputed is IBD is most common in westernised countries and least common in poorer parts of the world such as Africa, which suggests environment and/or diet have a part to play.
In our work at the Taymount Clinic we have encountered many people who have varying degrees of severity with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. We hear first-hand, the heart-breaking tales of its impact.
Like all those championing World IBD day, we hope that one day very soon it is a problem which can be eradicated from the planet.
To find more about World IBD day follow this link http://www.worldibdday.org/index.html