As troubling as IBD is for more than 1.4 million patients in America, it is a disease that continues to stump scientists and researchers. What causes inflammatory bowel disease? Is it heredity or viral? What are the most beneficial treatments? These are a few of the questions that medical professionals continue to seek evidence and answers for. Fortunately, for doctors and patients, research has come a long way. Here’s what we do know:
- A reaction occurs between the genes in people suffering from Crohn’s and colitis.
- When in contact with an unidentified environmental agent, such as bacteria, an abnormal immune response results.
- Genetics, the environment, and the immune system are factors that play a role in the longevity of IBD.
Although medications exist to help treat the effects of IBD, doctors have yet to discover a cure. If you are suffering from IBD, do not worry! You are definitely not alone. There are several organizations that connect patients with leading medical professionals, provide a supportive community, and work tirelessly to aggregate new information about IBD. To learn more about inflammatory bowel disease, the newest research advancements, and how you can get involved in finding a cure, check out the organizations below:
Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, CCFA, is a not-for-profit organization focused on finding cures for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. With over 50,000 members based in 40 chapters nationwide, there is plenty of hope for the future of IBD. As hosts of the 2013 “Advances in IBD: Crohn's & Colitis Foundation's Clinical and Research Conference," CCFA gathers together healthcare professionals and researchers who study and manage patients with inflammatory bowel diseases. You can support IBD research by making a donation to the organization or volunteering with a local chapter.
The American Gastroenterological Association is an organization that acts as the “voice of the GI community.” This national association of over 16,000 members is a resource filled with valuable knowledge on the advancements of gastroenterology. During each annual meeting, researchers and physicians gather to discuss important issues and new discoveries on digestive disease research. Support the organization by becoming a member and making a donation to the AGA Research Foundation or political action committee.