Talk with an Information Specialist

While our educational resources contain almost everything you might need to know about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, there are some things that you’ll want to talk with a Crohn’s and colitis information specialist about.

Whether you’re looking for a specific resource, referrals to other organizations, or answers to questions you can’t find anywhere else, you can speak with helpful specialists at the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation’s Irwin M. and Suzanne R. Rosenthal IBD Resource Center (IBD Help Center), Monday thru Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm EST:

Welcome to the IBD Help Center Education Corner!!!

While the exact cause of IBD is not fully understood, it is known that there is an interaction between genes, the immune system and the environment that lead to IBD.  Increasingly more research is being done to look at environmental factors that contribute to IBD. A recent article published in our IBD Journal reviews some possible environmental factors in the development of IBD. The article, Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Review of Known Environmental Protective and Risk Factors Involved, (van der Sloot, 2017) reports on childhood, adulthood and lifelong environmental exposures that potentially contribute to IBD. The most important childhood exposures include breastfeeding, antibiotic use, childhood hygiene and exposure to Helicobacter pylori infection.  While Adulthood environmental exposure include smoking, the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and oral contraceptives.  Important lifelong exposures include bacterial gastroenteritis, geographical variations and vitamin D.   The authors caution that more research is needed in this area.  To learn more and to access the article “Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Review of Known Environmental Protective and Risk Factors Involved ” please contact the IBD Help Center at and specify the article.