World IBD Day
IBD stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disease: an umbrella term for chronic inflammatory bowel diseases, of which Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the most common forms. IBD is an autoimmune disease, which means that the body’s immune system develops exaggerated strong inflammatory reactions. This can cause inflammations. In Crohn’s disease, the whole digestive system may be affected, whereas in ulcerative colitis the inflammation is usually limited to the mucosa, the most superficial layer of the colon. In Belgium, 30.000 people suffer from one these - often invisible - diseases. Over 500 new cases of Crohn’s disease and 350 new cases of ulcerative colitis are diagnosed each year 1.
Living with IBD
At Janssen, we strive to simplify the lives of IBD-patients. We do this by continuously searching for innovative therapies and by investing in support for today’s patients. Because even though IBD is usually invisible from the outside, it can have an enormous impact on the daily life of patients. People with IBD suffer from abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, fever or extreme fatigue. The disease has an enormous impact on young people, as it is mostly diagnosed between the ages of fifteen and thirty.
The impact on daily life is different for each patient. So, in order to provide patients with the tools to help them deal with their IBD, we have developed videos about living with IBD in cooperation with the European Federation of Crohn and Colitus Ulcerosa.
19th May: World IBD Day
The 19th of May is World IBD Day. On this day we want to raise awareness together with patients, doctors, nurses and other caregivers. In this way, we want to encourage open discussions about these invisible diseases and encourage everyone to continue to work to improve the quality of life of over 5 million IBD patients worldwide 2. We will do this by lighting up our buildings in Beerse in purple, the colour of World IBD Day, during the weekend of the 19th of May. In the Netherlands, our buildings in Breda and Leiden will be purple as well.
Because patients and their immediate social environment often struggle with questions regarding inflammatory bowel disease, we have created an IBD guide together with “Crohn- en Colitis ulcerosa Vereniging vzw” and “Association Crohn-RCUH asbl”. In cooperation with both doctors, nurses and patients, we bundled the commitment and experience of the patient associations with the latest scientific insights. The guide is created from the perspective of the patient and his loved ones. It uses accessible language and pays a lot of attention to personal experience and the specific questions that these diseases raise. The guide “living with an inflammatory intestinal disease”, which will be available in Dutch and French, can be ordered through doctors, nurses and the patient organizations.
Will you help us shed light on IBD?
Together with patients, doctors, nurses and other caregivers, we raise awareness for IBD in May. We are especially curious about your story as well. Will you join the conversation? Share your story via social media and use the hashtag #IBD.