There are approximately 15,000 people in New Zealand affected by inflammatory bowel disease.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a medical term describing conditions in which the intestine becomes inflamed (red and swollen). This leads to symptoms such as diarrhoea and stomach pain.
Two major types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These are autoimmune diseases, where the body attacks the digestive system.
- Crohn’s disease can occur in any part of the intestine.
- Ulcerative colitis only affects the large intestine (colon).
These diseases can be treated successfully with medication, although sometimes surgery is necessary.
It’s important to talk to your doctor about any bowel changes you are experiencing. They can diagnose you and make sure you get the right treatment.
Go to the Crohn’s and Colitis New Zealand website for more information:
Crohn’s and Colitis New Zealand also has a section on the website with information for younger people and teenagers.