World IBD Day
(Also known as World Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Day)
World IBD Day is observed next on Friday, May 19th, 2023 (225 days from today).
World IBD Day is celebrated on May 19th every year in order to raise awareness of inflammatory bowel disease.
What is IBD?
IBD, which stands for inflammatory bowel disease (which includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis), is two serious, chronic digestive diseases that affect five million people worldwide. There is no cure, no cause, and little public understanding of the chronic pain and suffering that IBD patient courageously deal with every day of their lives.
What are the symptoms of IBD?
Some common symptoms are:
- Persistent diarrhea
- Abdominal pain
- Rectal bleeding/bloody stools
- Weight loss
What Causes IBD?
The exact cause of IBD is unknown, but IBD is the result of a faulty immune system. A well-functioning immune system attacks foreign organisms, such as viruses and bacteria, to protect the body. In IBD, the immune system incorrectly responds to environmental triggers, causing inflammation of the digestive tract. There also seems to be a genetic component - someone with a family history of IBD is more likely to develop this inappropriate immune response.
How is IBD Diagnosed?
IBD is diagnosed by a combination of colonoscopy (for Crohn's disease) or colonoscopy (for ulcerative colitis) and imaging studies, such as contrast X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computed tomography (CT). Your doctor may also examine a stool sample to make sure symptoms are not caused by an infection or blood tests to help confirm the diagnosis.
How is IBD treated?
Several medications can be used to treat IBD: aminosalicylates, corticosteroids (such as prednisone), immunomodulators, and the newest approved for IBD - "biological". Several vaccines for IBD patients are recommended to prevent infection. Severe IBD may require surgery to remove damaged parts of the digestive tract, but advances in drug treatment mean that surgery is less common than it was a few decades ago. Because Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis affect different parts of the digestive tract, the surgical procedures will be different for the two conditions.
How to celebrate World IBD Day
When you live with a chronic condition like inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), you may feel as though you're the only one going through it. In fact, nearly 7 million people globally have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis (UC), according to data from 2017.
Every year on May 19th, people from all over the world will come together to take part in an illuminating event about Crohn's disease and UC, two types of IBD.
World IBD Day gives people with Crohn's disease and UC the opportunity to raise awareness about their condition and raise money to support research toward a cure.
This type of visibility is important for health conditions like IBD.
It is sometimes called an invisible disease because it is difficult for others to see symptoms such as abdominal pain and fatigue. In addition, people with the condition may feel embarrassed or hesitant to talk about it.
To celebrate World IBD Day, countries around the world launch social media campaigns to promote Crohn's disease and UC.
For example, Austria has a campaign called #makeitvisible that shares photos of people with IBD. India calls its campaign #breakthesilence.
Many countries light landmarks in purple, the color that identifies IBD. Story Bridge in Brisbane, Australia and Bulgaria's National Palace of Culture are just two of the iconic structures bathed in purple light on May 19th.
In the United States, World IBD Day‘s events are primarily held online. The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation organize some live chats via social media in order to share patient stories and provide tools for people to create their own info graphics to educate friends and family about disease condition.
The event was a huge hit with the IBD community. Each year, Kaplan hears from members about how easy it is to join and how the campaign makes them “really feel empowered and supported.”
ObservedWorld IBD Day has been observed annually on May 19th.
Wednesday, May 19th, 2021
Thursday, May 19th, 2022
Friday, May 19th, 2023
Sunday, May 19th, 2024
Monday, May 19th, 2025