World IBD Day Date in the current year: May 19, 2024

World IBD Day World IBD Day (World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day) is an annual awareness day observed on May 19. It was established to educate people about two medically incurable diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, that are known collectively as inflammatory bowel disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term for several inflammatory conditions that affect the colon a small intestine. The two principal types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions are long-term, painful, have no known cure, and severely impact the quality of life.

The main difference between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is that the former may affect any segment of the gastrointestinal tract, from mouth to anus, while the latter affects the colon and rectum.

The primary symptoms of both types of IBD are abdominal pain, diarrhea (mixed with blood in case of severe inflammation), severe cramps in the pelvic region, fever, weight loss, and abdominal distention. Fever and weight loss are more common for Crohn’s disease, but some patients with ulcerative colitis experience them as well.

The exact cause of IBD is unclear. The disease is believed to arise as a result of interaction of a number of factors, which include genetics, diet, alterations in the gut flora, dysfunction of the immune system, and others. IBD is an autoimmune disease, in which the body’s digestive system is attacked by its own immune system, causing inflammation.

Neither Chrohn’s disease nor ulcerative colitis are medically curable. Although proctocolectomy (surgical removal of the rectum and colon) is considered a cure for ulcerative colitis, it does not eliminate the extra-intestinal symptoms of the condition. Removing the worst inflamed segments of the intestine may help patients with Crohn’s in the short run, but it does not cure the disease, and it eventually recurs.

Other IBD treatments include medications, which are selected individually for each patient, lifestyle changes such as a special diet, psychological treatment, and (for ulcerative colitis) fecal microbiota transplant. Treatment of IBD complications, such as anemia, arthritis and skin rashes, may also be needed.

World IBD Day was launched to raise awareness of the pain and chronic suffering IBD patients have to live with, as well as to educate the general public about the condition. It is promoted by patient organizations from over 50 countries, IBD activists and other stakeholders, and is coordinated by the European Federation of Crohn’s and Ulcerative Colitis Associations (EFCCA).

On World IBD Day, buildings and landmarks in some cities across the world are highlighted in purple to raise awareness of the disease, since purple is the color of the IBD awareness ribbon. You can join the campaign by wearing a purple ribbon or something purple to draw attention to IBD and encourage people to get educated about the disease.

You can also support the cause by participating in a local World IBD Day event, organizing an event of your own, or spreading the word on social media using the hashtag #WorldIBDDay.

Remind me with Google Calendar


International Observances


World IBD Day, World Inflammatory Bowel Disease Day, international observances, awareness campaigns, purple ribbon