Today, May 19th, is World IBD Day.
What is IBD? In short, it’s a crappy disease (haha). IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease) is an autoimmune disease that affects the digestive system. There are two types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease – Crohns (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC). Read more about it here.
Why do I care about IBD? I was diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis in early 2002. Since there is currently no cure*, I have been living with this disease for 11 years. I want to make people aware of this disease with the hope that more research will be done to find a real cure. I also want to educate people about IBD, because better understanding means better support for those of us dealing with IBD.
Why should you care? Inflammatory Bowel Disease affects 1.5 million Americans. That is a lot of us! And there is a good chance you know someone with this disease (Me, for one!). There are many ways you can get involved directly, but just having a real understanding of this disease is a great support to those of us who live with it. Many of the people closest to me could’t tell you the name of my disease or accurately describe the way this disease affects the body. This is the cause of a lot of frustration**. So, please, take 5 minutes to educate yourself on the basics… a little understanding goes a long way, trust me! 😉
*Currently, the removal of the colon is considered a “cure” for Ulcerative Colitis. Personally, I do not consider removing an important part of my body a “cure”. So, I am hoping and praying that a true cure will be found.
** Having a disease means dealing with many well-meaning people with little to no knowledge of your disease giving all sorts of advice. Though, the sentiment behind the gesture is greatly appreciated, receiving the same bad or misinformed advice over and over from people who don’t understand my disease gets tiresome. Sorry, I just had to say it. Well researched advice, however, is always welcome! 🙂
Thank you for taking the time to read this (and hopefully some of the links, too)! Have a wonderful day!