Crohn's and Colitis New Zealand
National Patient Support Group Service
The Crohn’s and Colitis New Zealand Charitable Trust (CCNZ), was established in early 2010 to respond to the needs of Crohn’s and colitis sufferers across New Zealand. The Trust was officially launched in Parliament in July 2010 by Associate Ministers of Health, Hon Tariana Turia and Hon Peter Dunne.
Crohn’s and Colitis Support Groups are operating in 12 regions throughout New Zealand including: Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Taranaki, Manawatu, Wellington, Nelson, Canterbury, South Canterbury, Otago and Southland.
What are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis?
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are collectively known as Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). This is a chronic, life-long and incurable disease that affects over 15,000 people in New Zealand.
IBD can be both painful and debilitating. While there is no known medical cure for IBD, therapies can greatly reduce the signs and symptoms and even bring about a long-term remission. With these therapies, many people afflicted with IBD are able to function normally in their everyday lives.
IBD affects people of all ages but is primarily a disease of young adults in the prime of their lives, with onset typically between the ages of 15-35. The disease has several distinguishing features:
- it strikes mainly young people
- it affects girls and boys (and their families) equally
- surgery (bowel removal) is frequently required to relieve symptoms
- it affects the quality of life and productivity of patients with social isolation, depression and sexual dysfunction being significant features.
Patients diagnosed with IBD may suffer from any or all of the following symptoms including: abdominal pain, frequent diarrhoea, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss, fever, perianal fistula or fissures. Some patients may also present with rectal bleeding and arthritis.
It is important to discuss any symptoms with your doctor as soon as they appear to ensure you get the right treatment.
IBD causes more disability and loss of life than all chronic back pain, slipped discs, machinery accidents, rheumatic heart disease or mental retardation. The disability of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is comparable to severe asthma and is more severe than Type 1 diabetes or epilepsy.
We support, advocate for and empower people affected by IBD, as well as those involved in the treatment, mitigation and prevention of the disease.
Gastroenterology & Hepatology (Liver)