These medically incurable diseases can lead to abdominal pain, persistent diarrhea, rectal bleeding, fever and weight loss.
What’s the difference between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis?
Crohn’s disease may attack anywhere along the digestive tract (specifically the small and large intestines), while ulcerative colitis causes ulcers to form in the innermost lining of the intestine (colon) and rectum. The severity of these conditions depends on the amount of inflammation and location. Symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis can be slow-growing and develop over time.
Who is affected by IBD?
Approximately 1 out of 250 people in North America and Europe have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. IBD affects patients of all ages, but these conditions are more common in people between the ages of 15-30. Studies have shown that between 1.5% and 28% of patients with IBD have a first-degree relative also living with one of the diseases.
Your risk of getting Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis is slightly higher if you:
- Have a close relative with IBD
- Are between 15 and 30 years old or older than 60
- Are Jewish
- Eat a high-fat diet
- Smoke cigarettes
- Have an autoimmune disease that causes bacteria in the digestive tract to attack healthy cells
Are treatments available for IBD?
While there is no cure for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, treatment is available to help minimize symptoms. Many patients can experience long periods of remission with the right therapies in place.
At South Denver GI, our board-certified physicians have more than 50 years of combined clinical expertise in managing IBD and the challenges these conditions can bring to patients’ daily lives. Our IBD patients have access to a dedicated infusion center at our Lone Tree clinic and specially trained nurses devoted to their care.
What is World IBD Day and how can I participate?
May 19 marks World IBD Day. On this day, patients, providers and advocates across the globe connect to raise awareness of these conditions.
This year, the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation is encouraging everyone to say #GameOverIBD for World IBD Day. Learn more about how you can get involved by sharing stories on social media, fundraising or joining a Facebook Live event.
If you’ve been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, the expert, compassionate providers at South Denver GI can help. Call 303-788-8888 or Schedule an Appointment now.