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Majority of IBD patients have reduced sport activity

Eight in ten people suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) have either given up or reduced their participation in sport as a result of their condition.

A survey by Crohn's and Colitis UK found 88% of those polled said IBD had reduced their fitness levels, and 23% said exercise worsens their symptoms. 

The survey suggests up to 192,000 people with IBD are struggling to keep active.

Overall, half of people suffering with Crohn's disease and Colitis claim their fitness levels have been “greatly affected” by their condition.

However, the majority (72%) agreed exercise “makes them feel better”.

“The survey findings indicate that there are many reasons why some patients will struggle to ever regain former fitness levels,” said Richard Driscoll, CEO of Crohn's and Colitis UK.

“Sometimes it is fear of not being able to find an accessible toilet in time; Loss of weight and failure to retain strength may also be an issue in some sports activities.

“Sometimes it is the fear of having to “pay the price” of extreme fatigue afterwards. With conditions that come and go, some people may limit their activities so as not to “trigger” their IBD symptoms - without realising just how much they have gradually restricted their lifestyle and that of their families as well.” 

In this Olympic year, Crohn's and Colitis UK has recruited the support of leading sportsmen and women with IBD to encourage people to get back into sport.

Such sportspeople include five-times Olympic gold medal winning rower Sir Steve Redgrave and former England Rugby Captain and most capped England Flanker Lewis Moody.