Crohn's disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), also known as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), affects approximately 15,000 New Zealanders. IBD is a chronic, life-long and incurable disease that causes symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, rectal bleeding and weight loss.
More about Inflammatory Bowel Disease
New Zealand has one of the highest incidence rates of IBD in the world.
IBD affects people of all ages, but is primarily a disease of young adults in the prime of their lives - with onset typically between the ages of 15-35 years.
As with other autoimmune diseases, the exact cause of IBD remains unknown, however, research towards finding out why and how autoimmune disease occur is continually progressing.
CCNZ Vision and Goals
The goals of Crohn’s Colitis New Zealand are to:
- Educate people about IBD and encourage a greater awareness of what it is like to live with the illness to eliminate the stigma surrounding bowel disease
- Encourage those with IBD to enjoy an excellent quality of life and, where necessary, access support programmes and therapy that improves both emotional wellbeing and physical symptoms
- Support timely and equal access to specialists, health care professionals and innovative treatments
- Uphold workplace rights of people with IBD and ensure employers do not discriminate against the chronically ill
The vision for Crohn’s Colitis New Zealand is to:
- Empower patients & families
- Demystify & normalize the disease
- Make life more liveable