World Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Day

Sunday 19th May 2024

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a term used for a group of digestive conditions that are characterised by chronic inflammation in the gut.

On World IBD Day each year, organisations from all over the globe come together to raise vital awareness. At Guts UK Charity, we are dedicated to being a part of this.

Which digestive conditions are classed as an IBD?

The three main conditions in this group are:

As different parts of IBD can affect different parts of the digestive system, symptoms can differ for each person affected.

Ellie’s Crohn’s disease story

“One thing I’m very keen on is continuing to spread awareness of Crohn’s disease. Living with a chronic illness is hard, arguably one of the hardest things I’ve dealt with in my life. It impacts my body, mind, relationships, career, plans, and choices. 

I think there is still a stigma that Crohn’s disease is just an upset stomach. I hope my story has proven, it impacts the whole body and can lead to other complications.” Read Ellie’s story here.

Alicia’s ulcerative colitis story

I’m a firm believer that awareness is key to a cure. It’s also key to letting people know that you aren’t alone. Charities such as Guts UK enable not only this but also research & projects. Research that could get someone diagnosed quicker. Because the earlier you are diagnosed the quicker it is to adapt and take control.” – Read Alicia’s story here.

Peter’s microscopic colitis story

“Having experienced what it’s like to mess yourself and experience incontinence, you may feel like you don’t want to mention it to anyone. My advice is don’t be embarrassed, be on the safe side and have it checked out. My hope is that people will be given an accurate diagnosis…” Read Peter’s story here.

Why is it important to raise awareness of IBD?

There are often many presumptions and misunderstandings when it comes to IBD. Not every digestive condition is visible and it’s vital that those affected by IBD get the support that they need, when they need it. Guts UK exists to stop people from suffering in silence and alone.

By raising awareness, together, we can combat stigmas commonly associated with IBD and reduce misformation. We can put our trustworthy patient information into the hands of those who need it when they need it most. We can fund vital research into kinder treatments and ultimately, a cure. Together, we can create a world where talking about your guts, symptoms, and conditions is the norm.

How can I help this World IBD Day?

You can help us spread the word and chip away at the stigma surrounding IBD by:

  • Following us on social media and sharing our awareness and information posts on World IBD Day itself, and any day. You never know who we might reach and help together. Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram, Twitter/X.
  • Share your own experience, or a loved ones experience with IBD to your own circles, and on your own social media channels.
  • Fundraise for Guts UK Charity to help us abolish the taboos surrounding digestive health, and get to grips with guts. You can fund life-changing research, and empower people to seek help sooner.
  • Donate £3 per month to Guts UK Charity. You can improve the future of so many, starting today.

Discover our IBD research

Crohn’s Disease – Prof. Lord

Professor Graham Lord and his team are hoping to expand knowledge surrounding immune cells, known as T cells. There are two types of T cells, and scientists suspect that the balance between these cells is important to determine whether a person develops Crohn’s disease.

Find out more.

‘Leaky gut’ syndrome with IBD – Prof. Hogstrand

Guts UK awarded Prof. Christer Hogstrand and the team at King’s College London £50,000 for their research into ‘leaky gut syndrome’.

Professor Hogstrand and his team explored ‘leaky gut syndrome’ with IBD. We all have cells on the inside layer of our bowel. These cells are tightly bonded together as a seal to act as a barrier against harmful bacteria or other harmful agents. Unfortunately, with ‘leaky gut’ syndrome these tight bonds become looser and the bowel becomes more porous (meaning liquid can pass through easier). ‘Leaky gut’ can happen in people with IBD.

Prof. Hogstrand and his team wanted to fully understand how these tight bonds in the bowel develop. The team identified that supplementing diets with zinc and a compound called Aryl Hydrocarbon Receptor (found in green vegetables), helped reduce the “leakiness” of the intestinal lining. They also found that this offered stronger protection against IBD. Now, Prof. Hogstrand and his team are looking to validate this finding for use in humans.

Discover more: