Ireland ‘Get Gutsy’!


A new campaign called “Get Gutsy”, is being launched in Ireland, to raise public awareness and understanding of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).

Recent research has shown that 60 per cent of the Irish population mistakenly believe the disease is preventable, curable and not that prevalent.

However, the facts are, that around15,000 Irish people suffer from IBD, with the vast majority diagnosed when they are between the ages of 15 and 30 years old. IBD is a name for a group of disorders which cause inflammation of the intestine, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The campaign is being launched by St Vincent’s University Hospital, Dublin, in partnership with MSD, with its aim being to encourage people who may be suffering from symptoms associated with IBD to visit their GP without delay and to make available to people already diagnosed with the disease advice and information through the Get Gutsy website. There is also a downloadable smartphone app which will allow sufferers to track their symptoms, and plan their medication and appointments

The research into understanding IBD showed that 52 per cent of those surveyed could not name any symptoms for the condition, which can include abdominal pain, a change in bowel habits, urgent and/or bloody diarrhoea, constipation, weight loss, extreme tiredness, nausea and fever.

Speaking at the campaign launch, Prof Hugh Mulcahy, consultant gastroenterologist at St Vincent’s Hospital, said: “IBD is very prevalent for a disease which strikes so young and which is so debilitating. However, treatments are constantly improving, so if someone is concerned about changes in bowel habits, nausea and unexplained weight loss, they should visit their GP as soon as possible.”

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