Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 1:21 EDT

Gut Inspired patient group rallies to raise awareness on inflammatory bowel disease

May 15, 2012

Canada has one of the highest prevalence of IBD in the world with one in
160 Canadians living with IBD and 9,200 new cases diagnosed each year*

MONTREAL, May 15, 2012 /CNW/ – As global attention turns towards
inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with the upcoming World IBD Day on May
19(th), a group of patients who live with this chronic condition are
celebrating World IBD Day early with a public event taking place on May
15(th) at the ByWard Market in Ottawa. The group, called Gut Inspired, aims to increase awareness on IBD, which can take the form of Crohn’s
disease or ulcerative colitis, two auto-immune disorders that cause the
intestines to become inflamed and ulcerated, resulting in painful,
frequent and urgent trips to the bathroom. Canada has among the highest reported prevalence of IBD in the world with over 9,200 new cases diagnosed every year*.

More than 200,000 Canadians suffer from IBD – it is three times more
common than multiple sclerosis or HIV, and as common as epilepsy*. Yet
IBD conditions remain “in the dark”, with few Canadians realizing that
they face higher risks of developing IBD than people in other
countries. During IBD “flare-ups”, patients are often confined at home,
which affects their everyday lives including work, studying, travel or
outings with family and friends. The economic burden of IBD is
significant, with an annual cost of $1.8 billion to individuals, their
families and society at large*.

Gut Inspired Public Event and Awareness Campaign
To raise awareness on the high prevalence of IBD in Canada and on the
realities faced by people living with the disease, Gut Inspired kicks off a public event and awareness campaign in Ottawa on May 15(th), with the support of an unrestricted educational grant from Abbott in
Canada. The Gut Inspired public event will take place from 7:00 a.m. to
1:00 p.m. on May 15, 2012 in Ottawa’s ByWard market. There will be some
testimonials from Gut Inspired members living with IBD, along with a
street performance and educational brochures that will be distributed
to the public. This public gathering is designed to get Canadians
talking about conditions like Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis,
with the goal of breaking taboos and encouraging greater understanding
of what it means to live with one of these diseases.

In the days leading up to World IBD Day, people of all ages living with
or supporting someone with Crohn’s and colitis can sport a World IBD
Day PicBadge on their social media profiles to raise awareness about
the worldwide impact of IBD on youth. To download a World IBD Day
PicBadge, click here or visit picbadges.com and search for World IBD Day. For more information about Global World
IBD Day efforts, please visit www.worldibdday.org.

Living with IBD
There is no known cure for IBD, which is a chronic condition. Several
treatments exist and may result in remission, enabling patients to
improve their quality of life and minimize the disruption of flare-ups.
Doctors do not yet understand why Canadians are at greater risk than
people in other countries, and the cause is also unknown.

People with IBD have a high rate of infections, an increased risk of
developing colorectal cancer, and a significantly elevated risk of
premature death (47 per cent higher than the general public*). Due to
the social stigma associated with the common symptoms of flare-ups, IBD
is often lived in silence and in shame. According to a recent survey
from the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada (CCFC) on the impact of IBD, 66% of patients reporting experiencing depression and anxiety** during an active flare-up of their disease.

The condition impacts young people usually between the ages of 15 and 35
and can reduce their ability to complete their education. The survey on the impact of IBD also revealed that an estimated 70 per
cent of people who had IBD when they were young were delayed in
completing their post-secondary education due to their disease**.

“Along with the other Gut Inspired members, we decided to organize a
public event in Ottawa along with an awareness campaign to educate
Canadians on IBD and help reduce the social stigma that goes along with
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. I’m living proof that IBD
doesn’t have to rule your life, since I managed to overcome my disease
enough to be able to live my dream of climbing Mount Everest,” says Rob
Hill, Gut Inspired member who was diagnosed with Crohn’s disease at age

“During a flare-up, patients suffering with Crohn’s disease or
ulcerative colitis may experience fatigue, abdominal pain , diarrhea
and often cannot ‘go on with their normal activities,” says Dr. Alain
Bitton gastroenterologist at the McGill University Health Centre .
“Given that IBD is a chronic condition often diagnosed at a young age
and associated with co-morbidities, the condition can affect one’s
quality of life significantly.”

“Given Canada’s high reported prevalence of IBD, we have a role to play
to educate and sensitize Canadians about IBD and the impact of chronic
disease,” said Felipe Pastrana, General Manager, Abbott Canada. “We
want people living with IBD to know they are not alone and that there
are ways in which they can get the appropriate support to help them
reach their full potential.”

Additional Media Resources – Gut Inspired Patient Stories

    Michele's Story         Kevin's Story

    Clinton's Story                                             Iain's Story

    Ashley's Story                                              Genevieve's Story

About Gut Inspired
Gut Inspired is a group of Canadians living with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative
colitis who have come together to raise awareness of the impact of
living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Through their personal
experiences, Gut Inspired offers support for individuals living with
IBD and strives to assist others living with IBD learn how to better
manage their disease.

Gut Inspired works together with community partners to promote
acceptance of IBD in Canada in order to reduce the stigma associated
with digestive disease. Gut Inspired believes you can live free with
IBD, if you learn about the disease, educate yourself about treatment
options available to you and ask your medical team informed questions.

Gut inspired gets support from an unrestricted educational grant from
Abbott in Canada. To find out more, visit www.GutInspired.ca, YouTube, or connect on Facebook.

About Abbott
Abbott is a global, broad-based health care company devoted to the
discovery, development, manufacture and marketing of pharmaceuticals
and medical products, including nutritionals, devices and diagnostics.
The company employs approximately 91,000 people and markets its
products in more than 130 countries.

Abbott has been operating in Canada since 1931 and its Canadian
operations are headquartered in Montreal, Quebec. Abbott Canada employs
more than 2,000 people. Abbott’s news releases and other information
are available on the company’s web sites at www.abbott.ca and www.abbott.com.

*”The Burden of inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Canada,” report from
the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of Canada, September 2008.
** “Impact of IBD survey” carried out online by the Crohn’s and Colitis
Foundation of Canada amongst a nationally representative sample of more
than 500 Canadians, fall 2011.




SOURCE Gut Inspired

Video with caption: “Video: Gut Inspired patient group rallies to raise awareness on inflammatory bowel disease”. Video available at: http://stream1.newswire.ca/cgi-bin/playback.cgi?file=20120515_C7662_VIDEO_EN_13790.mp4&posterurl=http://photos.newswire.ca/images/20120515_C7662_PHOTO_EN_13790.jpg&clientName=Gut%20Inspired&caption=Video%3A%20Gut%20Inspired%20patient%20group%20rallies%20to%20raise%20awareness%20on%20inflammatory%20bowel%20disease&title=Gut%20Inspired%20awareness%20campaign&headline=Gut%20Inspired%20patient%20group%20rallies%20to%20raise%20awareness%20on%20inflammatory%20bowel%20disease

Image with caption: “Patient group Gut Inspired celebrates World Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Day in Ottawa’s Byward Market (CNW Group/Gut Inspired)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120515_C7662_PHOTO_EN_13786.jpg

Image with caption: “Patient group Gut Inspired celebrates World Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Day in Ottawa’s Byward Market (CNW Group/Gut Inspired)”. Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120515_C7662_PHOTO_EN_13787.jpg

Source: PR Newswire