The Nova Scotia Collaborative Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Program
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) inclusive of Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are a group of chronic, immune mediated diseases that affect the intestinal tract. There is no cure for IBD.
IBD can afflict anyone at any age but is most commonly diagnosed in children and young adults. Untreated IBD can cause debilitating symptoms in some people and can lead to the development of complications requiring hospitalization and surgery. It just so happens that the rates of IBD in Canada are among the highest in the world. The rates of IBD affecting Nova Scotians are the highest in Canada. The reasons for this are not clear and researchers are working hard to better understand this. IBD is associated with major medical and societal burdens in Nova Scotia. Unfortunately, very little public advocacy has taken place for those suffering from gastrointestinal disease. There is often a perceived stigma associated with gastrointestinal conditions and, consequently, people afflicted by the conditions would prefer not to speak about them and suffer in silence. The only way to obtain the resources necessary to make advances in the treatment and understanding of this disease is to educate and inform health care providers, patients and families, health care administrators and policy makers. This is where we come in.