Do many other children have IBD?

Yes 450 kids/teens live with IBD in Ireland…
Both UC (ulcerative colitis) and CD (crohn’s disease) are rare in early childhood but occur with increasing frequency as the ‘teens’ approach. The commonest age of onset is the late teenage period or early 20’s. IBD is the most common long-term gastrointestinal disease in childhood and adolescence. Males and females are affected equally…

The number of patients with CD in Northern europe and North America has been increasing over the last 30 years whereas the occurrence of UC has remained unchanged. There are 450 kids/teens in Ireland with IBD this has risen by 90% over ten years. The reason for these changes in diseases are unknown but we will keep you informed as new research emerges.

What causes inflammatory bowel disease?

The actual cause of IBD is not known. there are many doctors and scientists actively working to find the cause, improve treatments and maybe, one day find a cure. what we do understand is that the immune system that normally works to protect us against infection in the intestine appears to be over-active and this overavtivity causes inflammation.

Before the diagnosis of IBD is made you may have suffered with a variety of symptoms such as:

*Tummy pain
*Diarrhoea which may have had blood or mucus in it
*Loss of appetite
*Weight loss and poor growth
*Tiredness and lack of energy

The symptoms vary from person to person but once treatment has started these symptoms should improve within a few weeks.

Can inflammatory bowel disease ever be cured?

Although there is no cure at the moment for UC and CD, with medicines and nutrition it is possible to keep the disease under control so that you can lead an active and normal life.  UC can be ‘cured’ by removing the entire large intestine.

Do certain foods cause IBD?

There is no validated research to indicate this to be true at this time.  Although this is primarily a Western disease, many other factors such as environmental and genetics are being researched.