Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week is an event that takes place Dec. 1–7 each year to help increase understanding and raise funds for inflammatory bowel disease research.

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Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are two common forms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). They cause digestive symptoms and can affect other areas of the body with widespread inflammation.

Researchers continually seek to increase their understanding of the conditions and find more effective, safe treatments.

This article covers what a person needs to know about Crohn’s awareness, how to get involved, resources, and frequently asked questions.

Crohn’s awareness typically refers to Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month, or World IBD Day. Each event aims to increase public knowledge and understanding of Crohn’s disease and colitis, two common forms of IBD.

When it occurs

People in the United States (U.S.) typically acknowledge Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, which occurs between Dec. 1–7 every year. The event first occurred in 2011 through U.S. Senate Resolution 199.

Most countries worldwide also recognize World IBD Day, which occurs each year on May 19. It has a similar goal of increasing awareness and knowledge of the disease.

Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Month can vary by country. People in Canada acknowledge the month in November, while people in Australia recognize it in May.

Unofficially, some people in the U.S. may refer to December as its awareness month due to the first week of the month being awareness week.

Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week is part of an effort to increase public knowledge of IBD and raise money for its research and other aspects of care.

Organizations, such as the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, help increase awareness of IBD, provide resources to families, and help raise money for research. In the United Kingdom (UK), Crohn’s and Colitis UK is a charity dedicated to IBD.

People interested in getting involved or showing support for any of the awareness events or in general can do so in several ways discussed below.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation accepts donations year-round. They may also offer incentives, such as 100% gift matching from donors, and incentives, including t-shirts of a certain size as gifts during Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week.

Local hospitals or organizations may also collect money for research or care.

Before donating to any cause, a person should make sure the organization is reputable and will apply the money to the noted cause.

Crohn’s disease and colitis are chronic conditions. It can be helpful, both for the person sharing and those new to the condition, to hear stories from those living with either condition.

A person can often share their stories on social media. Some popular tags for Crohn’s awareness include:

  • #IBDvisible
  • #CCAwarenessWeek
  • #IBDwarrior

A person can find the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation’s Facebook page here and follow them for updates and to connect with others interested in IBD.

As the awareness times get closer, they should release more information on the times of live forums, chats, and other events a person can participate in.

A purple ribbon is the official ribbon color of IBD awareness. A person can wear a purple ribbon, purchase an awareness shirt or other apparel, or use social media stickers to help promote awareness of Crohn’s disease and colitis.

IBD is a lifelong condition associated with flares. Flares mean that a person with IBD may feel worse at certain times and better at others. Find out more about managing flares.

There is no cure for IBD, but treatments, such as medications and lifestyle changes, can help manage the condition.

Learning more about the condition can help increase a person’s awareness and improve understanding of those who are living with the condition.

Read more about IBD from our dedicated hub.

The Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation covers Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week and provides several resources for getting involved on their website and Facebook page. As the week approaches, a person can find more information on events and ways to get involved.

During the week, they will often offer donation matching and a free t-shirt with a donation. They will also provide dates of events and other information for helping a person participate in awareness events.

Below are some frequently asked questions.

When is Crohn’s Awareness Month in 2023?

Unofficially, in the U.S., Crohn’s Awareness Month is December, the same month that Awareness Week occurs (1–7).

In Canada, the month is November, while in Australia, it is May. World Awareness Day occurs May 19.

What color ribbon is for Crohn’s disease?

Crohn’s disease and colitis share the same purple color ribbon. A person may be able to find hats, shirts, pins, or other items with purple ribbons or Crohn’s awareness on them.

When is Crohn’s & Colitis Awareness Week?

Every year, Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week occurs Dec. 1–7. During the week, organizations spread information about Cronh’s disease and colitis to the general public to increase understanding.

Crohn’s awareness happens a few times a year during an unofficial month in December in the U.S., specifically during Crohn’s and Colitis Awareness Week, Dec. 1–7, and World Awareness Day on May 19.

The goal of awareness is to increase understanding of Crohn’s disease and colitis and help raise funds for research and other purposes related to IBD.

People can get involved by sharing stories, participating in events, donating, and learning more about the conditions.