Campaign to highlight symptoms of Crohn’s and Colitis
A campaign to raise awareness of the bowel conditions Crohn’s and Colitis has been launched as study shows cases are rising.
Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis – commonly referred to as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) – are long-term conditions which inflame the gut.
The campaign comes as research from Crohn’s & Colitis UK shows the rates of IBD are higher than previously thought, with Scotland found to have the highest rates in the UK.
Symptoms include a sore stomach, recurring diarrhoea, weight loss and extreme tiredness, which if not treated can lead to complications.
The campaign will raise awareness of the symptoms with posters and leaflets in GP surgeries and community centres, as well as social media, urging anyone who is concerned to contact their GP practice.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Social Care, Humza Yousaf said:
“Raising awareness of Crohn’s and Colitis is crucial to ensure we can get people diagnosed as early as possible, and give them the right care and treatment.
“This will help them to get the best support, make informed choices about their diet – and live their lives to the full.
“As part of the Modernising Patient Pathways Programme from the Centre of Sustainable Delivery, improvements have already been made for patients with IBD and we will continue working with the third-sector and people with the condition to make sure this important work continues.”
Sarah Sleet, CEO of Crohn’s & Colitis UK said:
“We know that there are over 50,000 people in Scotland living with Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis but too many take too long to get diagnosed.
“For one in four, it’s over a year and nearly half of them end up in A&E in the meantime.
“Recognising the symptoms of Crohn’s and Colitis, which are widely misunderstood, and having the confidence to talk to a healthcare professional are the first steps on the path to a diagnosis.
“We’re thrilled that the Scottish Government is leading the rest of the UK in raising public awareness of Crohn’s and Colitis, to improve the lives of everyone affected.
“Our message is simple: if you have frequent diarrhoea, stomach pain or blood in your poo, don’t suffer in silence, go and see your GP.
“The earlier you find out what’s wrong, the sooner you can get the help you need.”