New Spill Your Guts Campaign from the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation Inspires People to Speak Up About Their Symptoms
Published: February 18, 2021
NEW YORK, NY – The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation, the leading non-profit dedicated to finding cures for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and improving patient quality of life, launched a new public service announcement (PSA) campaign to increase familiarity with the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis among the general public. The PSAs also aim to educate people who are experiencing symptoms – like urgent diarrhea, stomach pain, and fatigue – about the importance of seeking a diagnosis with a specialist. The Spill Your Guts campaign shines a light on these invisible diseases and starts to break down the stigma associated with IBD symptoms, which are often topics people feel uncomfortable discussing.
The Spill Your Guts campaign tackles a longstanding challenge within the IBD community: getting an accurate diagnosis quickly. For too many patients, it can take years and multiple hospital visits before receiving an accurate diagnosis from a specialist. There are no simple blood tests to diagnose IBD, so a correct diagnosis can require invasive testing, and eliminating the possibility of other illnesses first.
Additionally, the diagnosis process is slowed down when undiagnosed patients are unaware of IBD and its symptoms, and so may ignore the early phases; or they may be uncomfortable discussing stigmatized gut-related symptoms. The Foundation’s research has shown that some undiagnosed patients are reluctant to speak about their symptoms because they are embarrassed, or they don’t know that treatment is even possible. When patients are inspired to take action and share their symptoms with a specialist who understands IBD, they can get diagnosed and find the right treatment faster.
“The more conversations we have about IBD symptoms, the more people are likely to speak up and seek a diagnosis from a specialist,” said Michael Osso, President and CEO of the Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation. “The PSAs demonstrate to people facing uncomfortable or debilitating symptoms that it is possible to get diagnosed, get treated, and feel better. We believe that ultimately this campaign will help reduce the suffering and isolation of many IBD patients, before and after their diagnosis.”
The series of four PSAs illustrates scenes from the life of people with undiagnosed IBD and represents people across racial and ethnic backgrounds. The spots showcase how IBD symptoms may interfere with daily activities, from taking public transportation to working at an office, despite the patient’s healthy appearance. By specifically identifying IBD symptoms, the ads bring public attention to these taboo topics. The PSAs direct viewers to a landing page where both diagnosed and undiagnosed patients can navigate their IBD journey and learn about the resources and support the Foundation offers.
The PSAs were developed in partnership with FCB Health, and were generously supported by Janssen, Takeda, and Bristol Myers Squibb.
For more information about IBD and the campaign, please visit www.spillyourguts.org.
Crohn's & Colitis Foundation
The Crohn's & Colitis Foundation is a non-profit, volunteer-fueled organization dedicated to finding the cures for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, and to improving the quality of life of children and adults affected by these diseases. It was founded in 1967 by Irwin M. and Suzanne Rosenthal, William D. and Shelby Modell, and Henry D. Janowitz, M.D.