Time to talk about IBD

Health experts in Hull will shine a light on the growing problem of Crohn’s and Colitis next week, as they prepare to mark World Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Day on Thursday 19th May.

Fatigue, stomach pains, diarrhoea, bleeding, and weight loss are problems which many people will experience individually from time to time, but together, they could be symptomatic of one of these two chronic conditions.

At least 300,000 people in the UK have been diagnosed with IBD, and a further person is diagnosed in the UK every 30 minutes with either Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis – the two main forms of IBD. Research suggests that these diseases are on the increase, particularly amongst teenagers and young adults, and a recent survey by the EFCCA showed that more than 18% of people wait for more than five years for a formal diagnosis.

Dr Sebastian, Consultant Gastroenterologist and an IBD specialist of national and international repute, is joining with colleagues from Hull University Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust to raise awareness of IBD and to encourage potential sufferers to seek help.

Dr Sebastian says:

“Many people who are not familiar with IBD do not realise how serious, and potentially life-changing, this condition can be.

“There is currently no cure for Crohn’s or Colitis, although once a diagnosis has been made, many people are able to find long periods of relief using some of the more recently developed treatments, thus potentially avoiding surgery.

“This isn’t always the case however; the fluctuating nature of these conditions means that patients’ quality of life can be severely affected, and I personally have seen people whose careers have been cut short or whose relationships have suffered because of the unpredictable nature of their illness.

“On Thursday 19th May, to tie in with World IBD Day, we’ll be holding an event at the KCOM Stadium to get people talking about IBD.

“People have traditionally been quite reluctant to discuss these types of problem, often through embarrassment, but they needn’t be, as we have services available locally to help with IBD management. As the problem is becoming more and more common, and in young people in particular, it’s not something we can afford to ignore.

“As well as giving people the chance to meet the teams involved in IBD care locally and ask questions, our event will also encourage people who are describing the signs and symptoms of IBD to seek medical help, as it doesn’t have to be something you just learn to live with.

“In the afternoon, our focus will turn to local health professionals and GPs in particular, who have a key role to play in helping people to gain an accurate diagnosis for their condition and timely access to treatment.”

The World IBD Day event will take place between 9am and 4pm on Thursday 19th May 2016. For more information including a copy of the morning or afternoon agendas, and to reserve a place, please call 01482 605243 or email megan.walker@hey.nhs.uk