The GI Society represents Canadians living with gastrointestinal diseases and disorders, including those who have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD is an umbrella term that primarily refers to Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These diseases are characterized by inflammation in the digestive tract. In ulcerative colitis, this inflammation is limited to the inner mucosa of the colon. In Crohn’s disease, inflammation can occur in any part of the digestive tract and through the entire thickness of the gut wall. IBD can cause frequent diarrhea, abdominal pain, rectal bleeding, fever, malnutrition, and many other symptoms, and often leads to a decreased quality of life. Canada has among the highest prevalence of IBD in the world at 0.7% of the population. While new medications and treatments do become available, there are still some gaps in treatment options and disease knowledge, from the patient perspective. The Gastrointestinal Society hosted a survey on its English and French websites from July 6 to September 4, 2018, asking patients about their views on the unmet need in IBD. We had 432 qualified respondents.


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