Got an idea for a holiday? Send it to us

Submit Now

World Crohn's and Colitis Day – May 23, 2023

World Crohn’s and Colitis day is observed on May 23 every year. Crohn’s and Colitis are the two most common kinds of I.B.D. I.B.D. affects around 7 million people globally. Although it is not a prevalent disease, during the last 20 years, an increasing number of people have been diagnosed. Inflammatory bowel disease (I.B.D.), is a serious, chronic digestive disease with no cure, no recognized cause, and a lack of awareness of the pain and suffering that I.B.D. patients endure. World Crohn’s and Colitis day creates awareness of the struggles of such patients.

History of World Crohn's and Colitis Day

For many years, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis remained mostly unknown. Wilks and Moxon, two English physicians, were the first to identify ulcerative colitis in 1875, effectively distinguishing it from infectious diarrheal disorders. There were accounts of an illness that had symptoms similar to ulcerative colitis before the Civil War. It wasn’t until 1875 that it was identified as a distinct illness.

In 1956, Suzanne Rosenthal began experiencing terrible gastrointestinal troubles. Doctors had no idea what was wrong with her for years and had even misdiagnosed her. After being moved by Suzanne’s experience, the Rosenthals began exploring methods to fund Crohn’s and colitis research in the 1960s.

The National Foundation for Ileitis and Colitis was created on September 12, 1967, by the Rosenthals, the Models, and Dr. Henry Janowitz to address the issue of Crohn’s and Colitis. It wasn’t until 1932 that three doctors, Burrill Crohn, Leon Ginzberg, and Gordon D. Oppenheimer described Crohn’s disease for the first time. Intestinal Tuberculosis was assumed to be the only disease affecting the small intestine at the time. These doctors gathered information from 14 patients who had abdominal cramps, diarrhea, fever, and weight loss, and discovered that the symptoms were not caused by tuberculosis or any other known illness. They defined a novel disease entity named ‘regional ileitis’ at first, and then Crohn’s disease subsequently. I.B.D. was poorly understood for many years after the two diseases were discovered, and little study was performed into the causes and treatments of Crohn’s and Colitis, let alone a hunt for remedies.

World Crohn's and Colitis Day timeline

1859
First Description of ‘Ulcerative Colitis’

Sir Samuel Wilks is the first physician to use the phrase ‘ulcerative colitis’ to describe a condition comparable to what is now known as ‘U.C.’

1913
The “British Medical Journal”

Scottish surgeon Thomas Kennedy Dalziel publishes the first series of Crohn's Disease cases in the “British Medical Journal.”

1930
Ulcerative Colitis Surgical Standardization

Surgical interventions for U.C. become more standardized.

1932
Crohn's Disease as a Distinct Entity

In 1932, C.D. is acknowledged as a distinct entity from Colitis.

1967
National Ileitis and Colitis Foundation

The National Foundation for Ileitis and Colitis is created.

World Crohn's and Colitis Day FAQs

What is the color of the inflammatory bowel disease ribbon?

Many of the I.B.D. groups associated with World Crohn’s and Colitis Day are adopting the purple ribbon as a symbol of awareness and support for persons living with I.B.D.

Which is worse Crohn's or ulcerative colitis?

Although both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are chronic diseases, ulcerative colitis may be deemed ‘worse’ because persons with severe ulcerative colitis may need surgery. People over the age of 50 who require surgery have a higher risk of dying as a result of colitis-related postoperative complications.

What percentage of Crohn's patients get a stoma?

In the past, it was estimated that 10% of all C.D. patients would develop a permanent stoma and that 30% to 50% of patients with complex perianal C.D. would develop a permanent stoma. Anti-T.N.F. therapy could reduce the likelihood of stoma by promoting remission and eliminating the need for a stoma.

How to Observe World Crohn's and Colitis Day

  1. Share your story

    Most I.B.D. illnesses are tagged as invincible illnesses. Help spread awareness through social media about Crohn's and Colitis. If you suffer from either one of these illnesses and are comfortable enough, share your story and how you effectively live a healthy lifestyle. During World Crohn's and Colitis Day, your story matters. To share yours, use the hashtag #WorldCrohnsAndColitisDay.

  2. Make donations

    Your contribution allows organizations to continue to help people with I.B.D. They rely on the generosity of the public. So, on World Chrohn's and Colitis Day, reach into your wallet and donate!

  3. Share material from Crohn's and Colitis Foundation

    To help spread the news about Crohn's and Colitis disease, the “Crohn's & Colitis Foundation” all over the world has developed shareable templates, internet material, and social media posts. You can copy material from the website and send them out to help create awareness.

5 Facts About Chrohn’s And Colitis

  1. Stress triggers colitis symptoms

    Stress can be a health hazard as it can exacerbate symptoms of colitis.

  2. Colitis is genetic

    The cause of ulcerative colitis is unknown, but it's believed to be a genetically-driven immune system disorder.

  3. Crohn's disease can become cancerous

    Crohn's disease, if left untreated, can progress to cancer.

  4. Crohn's Disease varies

    Symptoms of Crohn's disease differ from one person to the next.

  5. Colitis comes in different forms

    There are several different types of ulcerative colitis.

Why World Crohn's and Colitis Day is Important

  1. It spreads awareness

    The holiday raises public awareness and educates the public about I.B.D. It educates the public on the symptoms and realities of Crohn's disease and colitis.

  2. Misconception and stigma minimization

    World Crohn's and Colitis Day helps alleviate stigma and misconceptions about the illnesses. It also raises awareness that I.B.D. is a severe, incurable disease, even though many people appear to be in good condition on the surface.

  3. It assists patients

    The awareness holiday causes familiarity with the signs and symptoms as well as treatments for Crohn's and Colitis. This improved familiarity can help people who are suffering from G.I. symptoms better understand when to go to their doctors about early symptoms, which can help accelerate diagnosis and lead to better results.

World Crohn's and Colitis Day dates

YearDateDay
2023May 23Tuesday
2024May 23Thursday
2025May 23Friday
2026May 23Saturday
2027May 23Sunday

Want to sponsor this holiday?

Holidays Straight to Your Inbox

Every day is a holiday!
Receive fresh holidays directly to your inbox.