IDEAS Kids Although you may be the only person you know with an intestinal disease, it's estimated 25% of Canadians suffer from some form of intestinal disease. At The North American Intestinal Disease Education & Awareness Society (IDEAS), we understand that intestinal disease is especially difficult for young people, who may be afraid to talk to their friends, parents, teachers or classmates about their health.

This website is designed to provide support, education and resources IDEAS Kidsfor children, teenagers and parents who are affected by intestinal disease. IDEAS believes in supporting the abilities of people with intestinal disease, and educating patients, their families and their communities through public events and resources like this website.

Each section of this site provides resources geared towards the needs of children, teens, or parents. We appreciate the hard work of all the other organizations and websites we link to, and hope you will too!

The North American Intestinal Disease Education & Awareness Society is a registered charity based in Vancouver, BC, Canada. IDEAS' mission is to raise awareness of gastrointestinal diseases and disorders through education and public campaigns, with a focus on ability, rather than disability.

US Statistics on Intestinal Diseases

Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America

  • There are about 1.4 million people in the U.S. who have , and at least 150,000 of them are under the age of 17.
  • About 30,000 new cases of Crohn's and colitis are diagnosed each year
  • Most people diagnosed with Crohn's disease are young, between the ages of 15 and 35
  • However, Crohn's disease can also occur in people who are 70 or older and in young children as well. In fact, 10% of those affected—or an estimated 100,000—are under the age of 18
  • Males and females appear to be affected equally
  • More Caucasians than people from other racial groups develop ulcerative colitis
  • The disease tends to occur more often in Jews (largely of Eastern European ancestry) than in people of non-Jewish descent
  • Both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are diseases found mainly in developed countries, more commonly in urban areas rather than rural ones, and more in northern climates than in southern ones.
  • Up to 20% of people with Crohn's disease have a first-degree relative (first cousin or closer) with either Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis.

International Foundation for Functional Gastrointestinal Disorders

  • About 25% of the U.S. population has some activity limitation and impairment of daily function due to these disorders, and the frequency of work absenteeism is second only to the common cold. These disorders comprise about 41% of gastrointestinal problems for which patients seek health care.
  • Only about 1% of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) of the National Institutes of Health's budget is directed toward translational and clinical research for functional GI and motility disorders.
  • Symptoms sufficient for a diagnosis of IBS were noted in 17% of high school students and 8% of middle school students.

National Digestive Diseases Information Clearing House

Irritable Bowel Syndrome

  • Prevalence: 2.1 million people (1996)

Celiac Disease

  • Recent findings estimate about 2 million people in the United States have celiac disease, or about 1 in 133 people.
  • Among people who have a first-degree relative diagnosed with celiac disease, as many as 1 in 22 people may have the disease.

Celiac Foundation

  • One out of 133 people in the United States is affected with celiac disease.
  • CD occurs in 5-15% of the offspring and siblings of a person with celiac disease.
  • In 70% of identical twin pairs, both twins have the disease.
  • It is strongly suggested that family members be tested, even if asymptomatic.
  • Family members who have an autoimmune disease are at a 25% increased risk of having celiac disease.
  • Celiac Disease may appear at any time in a person's life.
  • The disease can be triggered for the first time after surgery, viral infection, severe emotional stress, pregnancy or childbirth.
  • CD is a multi-system, multi-symptom disorder.
  • Symptoms are extremely varied and can often mimic other bowel disorders.
  • Infants, toddlers, and children often exhibit growth failure, vomiting, bloated abdomen and behavioral changes.

Cedar-Sanai Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center

  • Industry experts estimate that as many as 2 million North Americans suffer from one of a variety of inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • About 200,000 of those are children.


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