IBD stands for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. The two most common forms are Crohn's Disease (often just called Crohn's) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC).

Learning that you or your loved one has been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis may fill you with anxiety, concern, and lots of questions.  It’s important to begin learning all that you can about what Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is so that you can better understand these conditions and learn how to manage its symptoms.

Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are Iife long gastrointestinal disorders collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).  The conditions are an emerging global disease, with New Zealand having one of the highest prevalence in the world.   It is estimated that nearly 20,000 New Zealanders live with these conditions, most diagnosed in their formative and most productive years,  between the ages of 15 and 35.

The conditions are becoming more prevalent, more severe and more complex and are being diagnosed in more and more very young patients.

In both UC and Crohn's parts of the digestive system (the gut), which includes the intestines or 'bowels', become sore and inflamed. Crohn's can affect any part of the digestive system from the mouth to the anus. UC affects the colon (large intestine) and rectum.

During a disease flare, inflammation in the colon, rectum and gastrointestinal tract can become so severe that sufferers need to be hospitalised and/or require surgery.

The conditions are  largely unpredictable with significant variation in the degree and pattern of symptoms affecting each patient. The relapsing and chronic nature of the disorder has broader impacts on a person’s emotional, physical and social wellbeing. Patients may also develop complications that are potentially life threatening, with links between IBD and increased risks of colorectal cancer as well as the adverse side effects of treatment.


Get the facts, FAST: Educational videos for newly-diagnosed patients

The Crohn's & Colitis foundation of America have packed a wealth of information into these short educational videos.  The more you know about your disease, the better-equipped you'll be to make important decisions about your care. 


+ Text Size -