BBC Newsbeat has decided to raise awareness of Crohn’s disease. Which is fantastic, we need the public to know everything about Crohn’s disease, to help people spot the symptoms and to find support within the IBD community.
It’s great… apart from the fact that their way of ‘raising awareness’ is telling the general public that Crohn’s disease is caused by junk food.
Unsurprisingly, the IBD community is now up in arms over the report. The reasons for so much anger and upset is that the BBC ‘s ‘experts’ are saying that junk food causes Crohn’s disease.
WHAT? You’ve got to be kidding me.
Okay, so they’re not explicitly saying that, even though that’s what it sounds like. They’re actually saying that there are studies that show that there could be a link between consuming junk food and developing Crohn’s disease. They’re not saying that it is the ONE and ONLY thing that leads to Crohn’s, but that it could be one of the many environmental factors that could lead to a flare up of the disease.
Let’s get this clear. Crohn’s is an autoimmune disease. It’s when the immune system attacks the digestive system and can cause inflammation & scarring of the bowel. It is NOT irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). It’s NOT irritable bowel disease, either. It’s Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD).
Eating junk food does not cause the body to just spontaneously attack itself.
A lot of people who suffer with Crohn’s disease are tweeting about how they feel that the BBC are trying to pin the blame on them for developing Crohn’s disease, like it’s their own fault – as if they’ve brought it on themselves. Fuck off. That’s like telling a non-smoking cancer patient that smoking leads to cancer.
Their so-called expert is basically telling the general public that Crohn’s is brought on by an unhealthy lifestyle. As much as I love the Beeb, I can’t help but feel as though their actions have caused a lot of upset and anger that could have been avoided had they reported it in a very different way, so as not to alienate those who suffer with Crohn’s and make them feel as though they brought it on themselves.
IBD is still a big unknown, and while all us sufferers appreciate the fact that research is being carried out to try and find the cause, there’s NO reason to publicise these unproved theories and report these ‘findings’ in frankly an accusing way.
Like I say, I love the Beeb, but perhaps next time they should have a bit more of a think before they publish such controversial statements.