Purple May: month of talking about inflammatory bowel diseases

During the 31 days of the month of May, the color purple can have different meanings when talking about health. And each one aims to alert the population.

Inflammatory bowel diseases are little known. Therefore, in order to spread these diseases and raise awareness among the population, the European Federation of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s (EFCCA, acronym in English) created Maio Roxo.

And there is a special day for awareness: May 19 is the World Day for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases.

Read more: Brain and intestine: their health in childhood reflects on adulthood

What does Maio Roxo mean?

Maio Roxo is the month of awareness about inflammatory bowel diseases, such as Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

With the date made official, countries across the globe are expected to take actions promoting Maio Roxo, such as lighting in tourist spots, which are also done in other campaigns such as October Pink .

Brazil started participating in the actions in 2016 and several Brazilian municipalities take actions and promote initiatives to bring information to the population.

But the campaign has been running every year since 2012 by the EFCCA (European Federation of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn).

May Purple Campaign 2019

The Brazilian Association of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease (ABCD) organizes many actions throughout Brazil.

The main objective of this action is to draw the attention of society and parliamentarians to inflammatory bowel diseases.

And the actions also occur in the digital environment!

ABCD regional societies and other Intestinal Inflammatory Disease societies will also use their own social networks and portals to help bring content to society.

Approximately 10 states (Piauí, Espírito Santo, Federal District, Pará, São Paulo, Santa Catarina, Pernambuco, Maranhão, Paraná and Minas Gerais) will have awareness actions such as walks and walks through squares and streets, lectures and distribution of newsletters.

Cristo Luz, one of the main tourist spots in Balneário Camboriú (SC), will receive purple lighting on May 19.

In addition to it, the São Francisco University in Bragança Paulista (SP) will also be colored with purple lights.

What are inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD)?

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are infections that affect some part of the digestive system causing internal wounds in tissues and organs, including small intestine, large intestine and rectum.

These changes are part of the lives of approximately 5 million people worldwide.

In Brazil, for every 100 thousand people, 13 have some IBD. The most common is Crohn’s disease (present in 53% of cases).

People who had family members with these diseases are more likely to develop them.

Despite being chronic, IBDs are not fatal, but they need treatment and follow-up.

Young people (between 15 and 40 years old) are the most affected, but all age groups, especially the elderly (over 60 years old) should also be alert to symptoms.

It is worth remembering that inflammatory bowel diseases are not contagious and the causes are still difficult to determine.

Although there is no cure, treatments can restore patients’ quality of life.

Read more: Intestine: why is the organ considered the second brain?

Learn more about the main IBDs:

Crohn’s disease

Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the digestive system (from the mouth to the anus).

The main symptoms are pain in the abdomen, fever , weight loss, reduced appetite and urgent need to evacuate, with stools that may be accompanied by pus or blood.

The disease can be alleviated by the use of controlled medications and light food so as not to irritate the intestine.

This pathology is divided into 2 phases:

  • Acute (active), when the disease causes inflammations characterized mainly by pain,
  • Remission, when there are no symptoms.

Crohn’s disease does not have a single cause. It is believed that some factors such as genetics, smoking and personal history of intestinal diseases can contribute to the appearance of it.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is an inflammatory disease that affects one or more layers of the colon (large intestine). About 30,000 new cases of the disease are diagnosed every year.

Symptoms involve diarrhea , stools accompanied by blood, abdominal pain, reduced appetite and sores in the large intestine.

The diagnosis is made by laboratory tests requested by a coloproctologist and treatment is done through medication and food care.

In some cases, surgery is necessary for partial removal of the infected part. Environmental, genetic and immune system factors may be involved in the cause of colitis.


In May, the alert is purple! Inflammatory bowel diseases are not yet curable, but the treatment shows efficacy and gives the patient more well-being.

In case of doubts or suspicions seek medical attention as soon as possible.

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