Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week: December 1st-7th

Senate Resolution 199 supporting the goals and ideals of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, originally dated December 1 through December 7, 2011, was passed on November 14, 2011. The resolution noted that the United States Senate supported the goals and ideals of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, encouraged media organizations to participate in the week by helping to educate the general public about the conditions and recognized all people in the nation living with the conditions. It also expressed appreciation to the family members and caregivers who support them and commended the dedication of health care professionals and biomedical researchers caring for those with the conditions.

Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week continues to be celebrated annually every December 1 through December 7. As part of Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to finding cures for Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis (collectively known as inflammatory bowel disease or IBD), is encouraging people to share their stories on social media using the hashtag #myIBD.

 Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis

Senate Resolution 199 stated that Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis afflict approximately 1.4 million people in the United States, and 30 percent of victims are diagnosed as children. According to the resolution, the conditions account for annual direct costs of $6.1 million.

IBD is the umbrella term that covers one or both Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. Both disorders involve similar symptoms such as diarrhea, unexplained weight loss, abdominal pain, bloody stool, fever, fatigue, and reduced appetite.

Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis have their differences. While ulcerative colitis occurs only in the colon, Crohn’s disease may occur anywhere between the mouth and the anus.

Ulcerative colitis involves continuous inflammation of the colon while Crohn’s disease has both healthy and inflamed parts of an intestine. Ulcerative colitis affects only the innermost lining of the colon, but Crohn’s disease can affect all the layers.

According to the Mayo Clinic, most people are diagnosed with IBD before they turn 30 years of age, but some people do not develop the disease until they are 50 or 60 years of age. Those who are Jewish and people with a family history of IBD can be at an increased risk of IBD.

Certain factors that can enhance the risk of IBD include smoking, which is a driving factor in many Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The Mayo Clinic also states that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications such as diclofenac sodium (Voltaren), ibuprofen (Motrin IB, Advil, or others), naproxen sodium (Aleve), and others can not only increase the risk of developing IBD but also worsen the disease in people who already have IBD.

Get Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis Help Today

While Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are not considered fatal diseases, they can still have life-threatening complications. For that reason, you should not delay when you suspect that you may have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.

GastroCare LI can help you find the solution to your IBD issues. If you live in the Long Island or Queens area, call (516) 265-7049 or contact us online to schedule an appointment today.