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Staff and campaigners at Chesterfield Royal Hospital raise awareness of Chron's disease and colitis

People in our region are being urged not to put off seeking treatment if they think they have a bowel condition such as Chron's disease or Colitis

Staff at Chesterfield Royal hospital are campaigning to reduce the stigma surrounding inflammatory bowel conditions.

Kath Phillis - Lead IBD Clinical Nurse Specialist, told Peak FM: "There's about 300,000 people living with inflammatoey bowel disease in the UK and I help care for around 1,600 patients in North Derbyshire.

"We don't like to talk about bowels but we need to be raising awareness and any people who have changes to their bowel habits or any symptoms that they're worried about, they need to speak to their GP so they can have appropriate investigations.

"People need to understand they're very challenging diseases. There is no cure, often they need medical or surgical management. They can be on strong medications and the symptoms can be life-affecting."

Walton resident Graeme Cooper says he was diagnosed around 18 years ago: "I was at university in my final year when I was diagnosed. I spent all of that final year in hospital away from my family and friends. So it it really difficult and also undergoing operations there's that recovery and kind of having to bounce back."

He believes it is vital more awareness is raised about the issue: "When I was diagnosed, I had no idea what Chron's and Colitis was and there wasn't much awareness out there so in the last 18 years I'd say it's come along in leaps and bounds and I always try and do my bit and raise awareness as best as I can."

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