In response to the steadily growing number of children and teenagers suffering with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) in the United States — which has now reached an estimated 1.6 million people, 10 percent of whom are under the age of 18 — the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) and the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) together launched a new website dedicated to children and teenagers with the disease. Just Like Me” is specially designed for young patients with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s Disease.
This interactive site will have several featured stories and videos from teenagers with the disease and information regarding dealing with school, managing stress, dating, diet, stories from the patients and the latest research updates.
Rick Geswell, who is the CEO and President of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America, said in a press release: “Young people have become the fastest-growing population diagnosed with IBD. This age group is particularly sensitive to emotional and social issues, so it was imperative that we create a safe space for these patients where they can get resources that help them manage their disease.”
Young people that suffer with IBD are exposed to some difficult psychosocial factors and might be susceptible to anxiety, depression, social isolation, family conflicts, altered self-image, school absences and medication adherence issues. Kids and teenagers that suffer with IBD often feel anger towards their IBD symptoms and treatment, and are affected by fatigue, their body image, and lack of control when it comes to school or extracurricular activities.
Athos Bousvaros, Past President, North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition said in a press release: “We are extremely delighted to be a part of the development of this new website along with CCFA. Pediatric patients have a difficult time managing their condition along with all the other psychosocial challenges most adolescence have in their young lives. This website will help them better cope with disease management as they develop into young adults.”
The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America (CCFA) is a non-profit organization focused on finding cures to address IBD.
The NASPGHAN Foundation for Children’s Digestive Health and Nutrition is committed to improve the outcome of gastrointestinal, pancreatic, hepatobiliary and nutritional disorders in children.