The visibility promoted by the World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day tries to improve the quality of life of those affected, who are mostly young people.
The World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day has its annual space guaranteed on May 19. Thus, the promoters and protagonists of the commemoration are patient organizations around the world, which are represented in more than 50 countries.
In turn, central coordination rests with the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA, due to the acronym in English of European Federation of Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis Associations).
The two main inflammatory bowel conditions are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, which we will describe later. The main objectives of the celebration are awareness, visibility and sensitization to get the necessary support from different fronts. Keep reading for more details!
What is inflammatory bowel disease?
Inflammatory bowel disease is a group of disorders that have in common chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Other invariable aspects are the sensation of weakness, abdominal pain and weight loss. Indeed, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are the most common complications.
Regarding the causes, the factor that causes inflammatory bowel disease is unknown. However, it is presumed that deficiencies in the immune system may have a direct influence.
How does it happen? In principle, when the immune system detects a foreign agent, it attacks it, but in this case the defenses do not work correctly and end up damaging the cells of the digestive tract. On the other hand, the age range of the patients oscillates between 15 and 40 years.
Crohn’s disease is inflammation of different sections of the digestive tract. Most of the affected areas are the lower end of the small intestine and the entrance to the large intestine.
The number of symptoms each patient suffers is related to the severity of the inflammation. Therefore, some of the main signs of Crohn’s disease are:
Abdominal pain and joint discomfort.
Intestinal disturbance during evacuation.
Meteorism and flatulence.
Weight loss for no apparent reason.
This disease has no cure. However, the methods used to improve the quality of life of those affected are the following:
Medications: non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, steroids and immunosuppressants are used.
Surgery: if the medications do not generate the desired evolution and the patient is in critical condition, an intestinal resection is studied in the areas with the greatest obstructions.
Enemas: to facilitate evacuation.
Ulcerative colitis is a disease that, in addition to inflammation in the digestive tract, is characterized by the appearance of ulcers on the mucosa of the digestive tract. Thus, the problem focuses on the large intestine and the rectum.
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis do not appear from the first moment in which the pathology develops, but gradually. Here are the most common signs:
Pain in the rectum and bleeding when defecating.
Inability to evacuate.
Treatment includes taking medications and, in critical cases, surgery. As for the first option, drugs such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, antibiotics, immunosuppressants, steroids and dietary supplements are considered.
In addition to this, in the scenarios that require surgery, colostomy, proctocolectomy, ileostomy and colectomy are used to improve the condition.
Celebration of World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day
World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day began its history in 2010 during Digestive Disease Week held in the United States. From that moment, patient organizations all over the planet joined the cause brought in the first instance by the European Federation of Crohn’s & Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA).
Along the same lines, some of the most important organizations that ensure a presence in more than 50 countries are the More Life Foundation for Crohn and Ulcerative Colitis (Argentina), Crohn’s and Colitis Australia, Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, Israel Foundation for Disease Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis and many more.
Objectives of the celebration
The motto of the World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day for 2021 is “Break the silence”, making clear one of the main objectives that is to bring information to all corners so that ignorance is not allied with the lack of cures of this complication.
In this way, the goals of the commemoration are the following:
Raise awareness among the world population about the difficulties of the nearly 10 million people in the world who suffer from this disease.
Bring official information so that the diagnosis is made in less time.
Raise awareness to increase support from other organizations and health systems.
Educate the public from an early age about symptoms and how to act.
Events that take place on World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day
The president of EFCCA, Salvo Leone, is one of the first to marvel at the events taking place worldwide. His words from the widespread demonstrations on the day were as follows: “It is amazing to see so many people from different countries coming together to raise awareness of these devastating diseases.”
The events and campaigns differ according to the country. Also, among the most original events of the day are the following:
Naked Facts: It is an Austrian campaign that brings together photos of bodies discovered with the aftermath of inflammatory bowel disease to touch the hearts of many people.
Manneken Pis in Purple: The popular symbol in Belgium will be dressed in purple along with awareness brochures on the door.
Forum on IBD rights and treatment update: Brazil seeks to expand information with the advancement of professionals to increase credibility
Debate on IBD and well-being: promoted by the EFCCA in order to understand diverse points of view and achieve solutions that cover a wide sector.
How can I participate?
Participation in the World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day has no limitations, since in addition to donations, you can use the following alternatives:
Share your story or that of a close person with these diseases, using the hashtags #IBDVisible and #Rompeelsilencio on social networks.
Acquire the official shirt of the day with the identification of the type of inflammatory bowel disease suffered.
Create an infographic and share it on social networks with the tags #IBDVisible, #Rompeelsilencio and # Worldibdday2021.
Dress in purple or illuminate your home in purple as a sign of support to the sick.
World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day to break the silence
With the promotion of World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day every May 19, we fight to exert pressure so that health systems around the world understand the best way to treat the sick. The search for causes and the desired cure is also encouraged.
In conclusion, the good quality of life will be a consolidated reality with the addition of new associations, the support of the state health systems, awareness, rapid diagnosis and control of outbreaks in time. Breaking the silence is the first breakthrough!