Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week

As we kick off Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week from 1st – 7th December, why not get involved and Go Purple! By going Purple on Friday 6th December you can show your support and help raise awareness of these invisible illnesses. 

Whether you’re at school, work, home or even in your local gym… it doesn’t matter! There are lots of fun things you can do, whether it be attending local events, fundraising or campaigning. 

So, what is Crohn’s and Colitis? Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis are the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, often referred to as an invisible illnesses that effect more than 300,000 people in the UK alone. 

Ulcerative Colitis Disease effects the large intestine whereas Crohn’s disease is likely to be found at the end of the small intestine, however in some cases can affect both intestines. Both are lifelong diseases which can affect any part of the gut, from the mouth, all the way down to the bottom. 

What are the symptoms? Not everyone will have the same symptoms and they will vary from person to person depending on their condition.  Some people will go through times of great health, with very little or no symptoms, this is known as a period of remission, however symptoms can differ and become more aggressive when going through a ‘flare up’. 

Here are some of the most common symptoms: 

  • Diarrhoea – often containing blood and mucus 
  • Tiredness and fatigue – this can be an effect of the disease, a lack of sleep or anaemia 
  • Anaemia – is caused by a decreased number of red blood cells and can make you feel very tired 
  • Stomach cramps and pain in the abdomen 
  • Weight loss due to a loss of appetite. 
  • Generally feeling unwell, and can include an elevated temperature, fever and a quicker heartbeat. 
  • Joint pain and joint inflammation 
  • Inflammation of the eye, most commonly episcleritis
  • Mouth ulcers 

Although a person may look ok, some of the symptoms associated with Crohn’s and Colitis can severely impact and inhabit a person’s day to day life, with some of the symptoms often being embarrassing and distressing. 

Currently there is no cure for Crohn’s and Colitis, however with the right treatment symptoms can be reduced and controlled with medication. 

With a misunderstanding and stigma attached to these invisible diseases, people are often suffering in silence because they do not feel confident in speaking up to family, friends and work colleagues. 

Following Crohn’s and Colitis UK most recent campaign #ItTakesGuts, if you’re having difficulty speaking up or finding the right words, why not take a look at this Talking Toolkit

Want to better understand what it's like to live with Crohn's and Colitis? Take a look at in the Immersive app ‘In My Shoes’ where you will have the opportunity to step into the shoes of someone living with Crohn's and Colitis for a day.

You can click on these links if you want to find out more about Crohn’s and Colitis and find out what support is available. 


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