Fast Facts about Inflammatory Bowel Diseases| 6 comments
- Worldwide, five million people live with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, conditions known as inflammatory bowel diseases. In the U.S. alone, 1.4 million Americans have IBD, including over 150,000 children.
- Crohn’s disease can inflame any portion of the digestive system while ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon (large intestine). Symptoms include persistent diarrhea, crampy abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, fever, and fatigue.
- IBD can impose a significant impact on the patient’s quality of life through ongoing symptoms, reduced ability to work, social stigma, bathroom access, difficulty with physical intimacy, and a restriction in career choices.
- Although IBD is treatable with a number of medications and surgeries, it is still not curable.
- Diagnosis of Crohn’s or colitis can be complicated and can take many years.
- Children are diagnosed with Crohn’s and colitis on average at age 12, and are vulnerable to growth delays with irreversible consequences.
- The unpredictable nature of these painful and debilitating digestive diseases create a significant burden on the community and the economy: more than $1.26 billion USD in direct and indirect costs annually in the United States, according to the American Gastroenterological Association.