Inflammatory Bowel Disease Club of the Philippines

The Inflammatory Bowel Disease Club
of the Philippines

An organization of gastroenterologists, surgeons, pathologists, pediatricians, radiologists, nurses and nutritionists who have special interests in the study of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) and the care of IBD patients.

The Inside Story

What you need to know about Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD?
A project of The IBD Club of the Philippines and The Philippine Society of Gastroenterology.

Borne out of the curiosity to probe what was then a well-entrenched belief that IBD may not be a disease found in Filipinos, a small enthusiastic group of gastroenterologists, pathologists and surgeons started regular conferences in the late 1980s to share clinical experiences on conditions which fit the diagnosis of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, the two types of IBD.

IBD Latest News & Annoucement

FAQs and Myths

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a disorder characterized by prolonged inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract that results in ulcerations in the lining of the bowels. It may also create bowel strictures and abnormal communications (fistula) between the bowel and other hollow organs, e.g., urinary bladder, vagina, or with fistula formation to the skin. It is also associated with a risk for future development of colon cancer.

FAQs and Myths

Yes. An autoimmune disease is a disease caused by the immune system attacking one’s own healthy tissues. Studies have previously shown that patients with ulcerative colitis, one type of IBD, had antibodies that attack the cells of the lining of the large intestines (colon). Similar autoimmune processes may also contribute to manifestations of IBD beyond the bowels, such as eye symptoms or joint pains in patients with IBD.

Yes, IBD tends to run in families. The siblings and children of patients with IBD have a greater risk of developing the condition compared to the general population. This hereditary risk is greater in CD than in UC.  However, genetics is not the only factor and many environmental factors also contribute to the development of IBD.

No. There are no studies that clearly show that stress causes IBD. However, a patient’s perception, interpretation, and handling of the recurring symptoms of IBS may affect the level of stress they experience. The impact of a long-term illness on mental health may also increase the stress experienced by IBD patients.

No. Although both diseases can present with abdominal pain and diarrhea. IBS is a functional disorder and not associated with anatomical abnormalities of the intestines, while, IBD is characterized by inflammation, ulcerations, and structural involvement of the bowel. There is no unequivocal evidence that IBS is an underlying condition contributing to the future occurrence of IBD.

FACT: Over the last 30 years, we have seen, diagnosed, and treated patients of truly Filipino ancestry who presented with symptoms, endoscopic, radiologic, and biopsy features compatible with IBD. They have also responded and had disease control with established medications for ulcerative colitis (UC) or Crohn’s disease (CD).

FACT: While IBD was first described in the West and is more commonly seen in some ethnic groups, e.g., Ashkenazy Jews, it is also seen with increasing frequency among Asians in the last 50 years. Likewise, the number of Filipinos living in the Philippines with IBD is also growing.

FACT: Certain probiotics (i.e., VSL#3) may be effective in preventing the onset and in maintaining the remission of pouchitis (inflammation of the ileal pouch, an artificial rectum created for patients who have undergone a colectomy, which may be done in patients with UC). It may also be effective in maintaining the remission of UC. Therefore, these specific probiotics may be good as adjunctive therapies to supplement IBD treatment, but not as alternatives that could replace conventional IBD therapies.

FACT: IBD can be a challenging situation to live with, but it does not necessarily hinder patients from living the lives they want to live. Patients should work closely with their medical professional(s) to effectively manage the disease and ensure an optimal quality of life

Your Next Steps

See your doctor, specifically a Gastroenterologist if you experience a persistent change in your bowel habits or if you have signs and/or symptoms compatible with inflammatory bowel disease.


IBD: In the know

The debilitating clinical course of these disorders and the complicated, lengthy and often expensive treatments severely impact the IBD patients’ quality of life (QoL).

In Ulcerative colitis, the chronic inflammation produces ulcers in the superficial lining (mucosa) of the large intestines and rectum which results in recurrent diarrhea, often with blood.

In Crohn’s disease, the long-standing inflammation involves also the deeper layers of the wall of the intestines and produces ulcerations, strictures and fistula formation which may occur in any part of the gastrointestinal tract.

6.8 million cases

In 2017, there were 6.8M cases with IBD globally.1

23.8 to 29.3 per 100,000

For Crohn’s disease, the global ceiling incidence range is 23.8–29.3 per 100,000 population and for ulcerative colitis, it is in the range 23.1–57.9 per 100,000 population.2

0.07 per 100,000 persons

In the Philippines, the incidence of Crohn’s disease is 0.07 per 100,000 person years and for ulcerative colitis, it is 0.09 per 100,000 person years.3

1.22 per 100,000 persons

In the Philippines, the prevalence of Ulcerative colitis is 1.22 per 100,000 persons and 0.35 per 100,000 persons for Crohn’s disease.3


  1. GBD 2017 Inflammatory Bowel Disease Collaborators* Vol 5 January 2020
  2. Ng, S. C., Shi, H. Y., Hamidi, N., Underwood, F. E., Tang, W., Benchimol, E. I., … Kaplan, G. G. (2017). Worldwide incidence and prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease in the 21st century: a systematic review of population-based studies. The Lancet, 390(10114), 2769–2778. doi:10.1016/s0140-6736(17)32448-0
  3. 2012 IBD Club of the Philippines Data on File (unpublished)

Contact Us

At present, the IBD Philippines conducts the IBD Champions’ Forum 4 to 6 times a year. This forum is a formidable and influential academic activity that updates gastroenterology colleagues on the current advancements in the diagnosis and comprehensive care of IBD patients.

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