Canada has one of the highest prevalence of IBD in the world with one in 160 Canadians living with IBD and 9,200 new cases diagnosed each year*
MONTREAL, May 15, 2012 /CNW/ - As global attention turns towards inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with the upcoming World IBD Day on May 19th, a group of patients who live with this chronic condition are celebrating World IBD Day early with a public event taking place on May 15th at the ByWard Market in Ottawa. The group, called Gut Inspired, aims to increase awareness on IBD, which can take the form of Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis, two auto-immune disorders that cause the intestines to become inflamed and ulcerated, resulting in painful, frequent and urgent trips to the bathroom. Canada has among the highest reported prevalence of IBD in the world with over 9,200 new cases diagnosed every year*.
More than 200,000 Canadians suffer from IBD - it is three times more common than multiple sclerosis or HIV, and as common as epilepsy*. Yet IBD conditions remain "in the dark", with few Canadians realizing that they face higher risks of developing IBD than people in other countries. During IBD "flare-ups", patients are often confined at home, which affects their everyday lives including work, studying, travel or outings with family and friends. The economic burden of IBD is significant, with an annual cost of $1.8 billion to individuals, their families and society at large*.
Gut Inspired Public Event and Awareness Campaign
To raise awareness on the high prevalence of IBD in Canada and on the realities faced by people living with the disease, Gut Inspired kicks off a public event and awareness campaign in Ottawa on May 15th, with the support of an unrestricted educational grant from Abbott in Canada. The Gut Inspired public event will take place from 7:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on May 15, 2012 in Ottawa's ByWard market. There will be some testimonials from Gut Inspired members living with IBD, along with a street performance and educational brochures that will be distributed to the public. This public gathering is designed to get Canadians talking about conditions like Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, with the goal of breaking taboos and encouraging greater understanding of what it means to live with one of these diseases.
In the days leading up to World IBD Day, people of all ages living with or supporting someone with Crohn's and colitis can sport a World IBD Day PicBadge on their social media profiles to raise awareness about the worldwide impact of IBD on youth. To download a World IBD Day PicBadge, click here or visit picbadges.com and search for World IBD Day. For more information about Global World IBD Day efforts, please visit www.worldibdday.org.
Living with IBD
There is no known cure for IBD, which is a chronic condition. Several treatments exist and may result in remission, enabling patients to improve their quality of life and minimize the disruption of flare-ups. Doctors do not yet understand why Canadians are at greater risk than people in other countries, and the cause is also unknown.
People with IBD have a high rate of infections, an increased risk of developing colorectal cancer, and a significantly elevated risk of premature death (47 per cent higher than the general public*). Due to the social stigma associated with the common symptoms of flare-ups, IBD is often lived in silence and in shame. According to a recent survey from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) on the impact of IBD, 66% of patients reporting experiencing depression and anxiety** during an active flare-up of their disease.
The condition impacts young people usually between the ages of 15 and 35 and can reduce their ability to complete their education. The survey on the impact of IBD also revealed that an estimated 70 per cent of people who had IBD when they were young were delayed in completing their post-secondary education due to their disease**.
"Along with the other Gut Inspired members, we decided to organize a public event in Ottawa along with an awareness campaign to educate Canadians on IBD and help reduce the social stigma that goes along with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. I'm living proof that IBD doesn't have to rule your life, since I managed to overcome my disease enough to be able to live my dream of climbing Mount Everest," says Rob Hill, Gut Inspired member who was diagnosed with Crohn's disease at age 23.
"During a flare-up, patients suffering with Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis may experience fatigue, abdominal pain , diarrhea and often cannot 'go on with their normal activities," says Dr. Alain Bitton gastroenterologist at the McGill University Health Centre . "Given that IBD is a chronic condition often diagnosed at a young age and associated with co-morbidities, the condition can affect one's quality of life significantly."
"Given Canada's high reported prevalence of IBD, we have a role to play to educate and sensitize Canadians about IBD and the impact of chronic disease," said Felipe Pastrana, General Manager, Abbott Canada. "We want people living with IBD to know they are not alone and that there are ways in which they can get the appropriate support to help them reach their full potential."
Additional Media Resources - Gut Inspired Patient Stories
About Gut Inspired
Gut Inspired is a group of Canadians living with Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis who have come together to raise awareness of the impact of living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Through their personal experiences, Gut Inspired offers support for individuals living with IBD and strives to assist others living with IBD learn how to better manage their disease.
Gut Inspired works together with community partners to promote acceptance of IBD in Canada in order to reduce the stigma associated with digestive disease. Gut Inspired believes you can live free with IBD, if you learn about the disease, educate yourself about treatment options available to you and ask your medical team informed questions.
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics. The company employs approximately 91,000 people and markets its products in more than 130 countries.
Abbott has been operating in Canada since 1931 and its Canadian operations are headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. Abbott Canada employs more than 2,000 people. Abbott's news releases and other information are available on the company's web sites at www.abbott.ca and www.abbott.com.
*"The Burden of inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Canada," report from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada, September 2008.
** "Impact of IBD survey" carried out online by the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of Canada amongst a nationally representative sample of more than 500 Canadians, fall 2011.
Video with caption: "Video: Gut Inspired patient group rallies to raise awareness on inflammatory bowel disease". Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20120515_C7662_VIDEO_EN_13790.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20120515_C7662_PHOTO_EN_13790.jpg&clientName=Gut%20Inspired&caption=Video%3A%20Gut%20Inspired%20patient%20group%20rallies%20to%20raise%20awareness%20on%20inflammatory%20bowel%20disease&title=Gut%20Inspired%20awareness%20campaign&headline=Gut%20Inspired%20patient%20group%20rallies%20to%20raise%20awareness%20on%20inflammatory%20bowel%20disease
Image with caption: "Patient group Gut Inspired celebrates World Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Day in Ottawa's Byward Market (CNW Group/Gut Inspired)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120515_C7662_PHOTO_EN_13786.jpg
Image with caption: "Patient group Gut Inspired celebrates World Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Day in Ottawa's Byward Market (CNW Group/Gut Inspired)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120515_C7662_PHOTO_EN_13787.jpg
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