Crohn's Disease

World IBD Day 2022 Explained

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Ampersand Health provides digital therapies to help improve the lives of  people living with inflammatory diseases like IBD. We participate in World IBD Day in solidarity with all the clinicians and patients dealing with this condition.

What is World IBD Day?

World IBD Day raises awareness of inflammatory bowel disease, a term that is used when speaking about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Activities for World IBD Day are organised across 50 participating countries to show solidarity with the 10 million people living with IBD and the health care practitioners involved in the treatment of IBD. 

World IBD Day is also an opportunity to reduce the stigma that exists around IBD, with the hope that individuals living with IBD may feel more comfortable speaking about their condition without feeling embarrassed.

It also is an opportunity for those who do not live with IBD to understand the condition experience, so that they can better support individuals in their life who may live with IBD or those who they meet in the future.

What is IBD?

IBD (which stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disease) is a term used to describe Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis. Both conditions are long-term or chronic, and involve inflammation in the digestive tract. IBD can affect people of any age and symptoms can be debilitating, especially when an individual is ‘in flare’ meaning their disease is active. Treatment for IBD often involves multiple approaches, often consisting of a combination of medication and lifestyle changes. Some people living with IBD may not speak openly about their condition due to the nature of the symptoms that they may experience. 

However, through events such as World IBD Day, the stigma around the conditions is improving and an increasing amount of individuals are speaking out about their condition. There is currently no cure for IBD, however research on the conditions involved is ongoing. 

What colour represents IBD?

IBD is represented through the colour purple. More specifically, IBD is represented by the image of a purple ribbon. Famous landmarks across the world, as mentioned earlier, are sometimes lit up with the colour purple to show support.

When is World IBD Day?

This year World IBD Day is on May 19 2022. World IBD Day has taken place every year since it was created in 2010 by the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (or EFCCA). 

How is World IBD Day Commemorated?

World IBD Day is commemorated through various events and activities across the globe. Events include online and in-person events, information sessions and conferences. Some countries are celebrating World IBD Day through other ways, for example in Romania they are lighting up the University of Medicine in the cities in Bucharest and Craiova purple. Another example is in Puerto Rico where they are lighting up several buildings such as the Governor’s Mansion and San Juan Mayor’s office purple to commemorate the awareness day. 

What is the theme of this year’s World IBD Day?

This year, the IBD association would like to raise awareness of the amount of elderly people living with IBD and how this impacts their quality of life and care. Recent estimates are that older patients with IBD (60+) will represent a third of all patients with IBD. Under the slogan “IBD has no age”, the key messages the EFCCA wants to highlight is the lack of scientific data for those over the age of 65, the higher risk of complications and comorbidity and the increased need for a personalised-care approach. 

When is Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month?

Crohn’s and Colitis are two of the most common inflammatory diseases, and so they have their own awareness month. This varies by country, but in the U.S it is generally understood to be December to coincide with Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness week which takes place globally in the first week of December. 

How do I participate in World IBD Day?

You can participate in World IBD Day in any way that feels meaningful to you. Join the hashtag to spread awareness on social media, wear your purple ribbon or join in one of the events happening near you. MyWALKIT is taking place in June and it is a great way to help raise awareness in your local area.

World IBD events near me

You can find out what events are happening in your local area or indeed organise one of your own. To see what is happening this year, check out the World IBD Day website.

More IBD Statistics

How common is IBD? We have rounded up the latest facts around IBD in the UK and beyond in this related article: IBD Statistics 2022: Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis.

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