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About IBD

This section of the website contains information on different aspects of every day life with IBD.

The majority of it has been produced by Crohns and Colitis UK, a charitable organisation whose aim is to  improve life for everyone affected by Inflammatory Bowel Disease.   Their website provides a wealth of information which is available to all and we would recommend that you have a look at it.

Disease info

If you have recently been diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) or Crohn's Disease or if you have had the condition for some time, you may have many questions. Knowing more about your condition can help you to feel better informed and able to take a more active part in decisions about your treatment. We hope these booklets will give you and your family and friends a better understanding of your condition and how it is treated.

Crohn's Disease

Ulcerative Colitis

Drug info

If you have IBD your doctor or IBD nurse is likely to prescribe medication (drugs) as part of your treatment. We do not yet know what causes IBD, so these drugs are not cures, but they can be very effective in treating your symptoms.

Azathioprine & 6-Mercaptopurine

Infliximab & Humira

Travel advice

When travelling with IBD it helps to plan ahead. This leaflet contains useful travel tips from people with IBD and important information/advice from health care professionals. Please remember however, that everyone with IBD is different. This leaflet is intended as a guide only and further advice can be obtained from your IBD Consultant or Nurse Specialists.

Travel & Immunisations

This site offers advice including vaccinations, medication, managing diarrhoea and travel insurance aswell as other helpful hints and tips for travelling with IBD.

Fertility & Pregnancy

Most women with Crohn's or Ulcerative Colitis can expect to have a normal pregnancy and a healthy baby. But, if you have IBD and are pregnant you may need to take extra care and perhaps change your treatment. Find out more about how IBD or the drugs and surgery used to treat it may sometimes affect a pregnancy. We also cover medication use when breastfeeding and whether being pregnant or having a baby might affect your IBD.

Planning for a baby when your partner has IBD can raise many questions.These questions are answered in the Crohns and Colitis UK information sheets:

Fertility & IBD

 Pregnancy & IBD


Many people with Ulcerative Colitis (UC) and Crohn's Disease - the two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) -suffer from fatigue. This information sheet explains what IBD fatigue is, what may cause it, and possible ways of reducing it.



Anyone with IBD is likely to need investigations at some time.  They are usually done to help identify the cause of your symptoms and to plan treatment.  Another reason that investigations are required is to make sure that everything is ok, blood tests when you come to clinic for example.  The following leaflet will give you more information about some of the investigations you might need.


Endoscopy is a procedure that involves looking inside the body with an Endoscope - this is a fine tube with a camera at the end and a channel inside where tools can be passed to take biopsies or stretch a narrowed area for example. Most people with Inflammatory Bowel Disease will need an endoscopy at some time. The ones you are most likely to need are either Sigmoidoscopy, Colonoscopy or Gastroscopy.


Sigmoidoscopy looks at the rectum and left hand side of the large bowel (the sigmoid colon). You may need an enema just before the procedure to empty this area.


Colonoscopy looks at the rectum, the whole of the large bowel (sigmoid, transverse and ascending colon) and also the terminal ileum (end of the small bowel) in most cases. You will need to take some medicine the day before the procedure to clean out the bowel. Colonoscopies are usually carried out under sedation.


Gastroscopy looks at the oesophagus, stomach and part of the duodenum. You will be given a choice of whether or not to have sedation or a local anaesthetic throat spray.

Endoscopies in CDDFT are carried out in the Endoscopy Unit's at Darlington, Bishop Auckland, University Hospital North Durham or Shotley Bridge. Here are links to videos you may find useful should you need to undergo an endoscopic procedure.


GASTROSCOPY /our-services/surgery-and-diagnostics/endoscopy/gastroscopy.aspx

COLONOSCOPY VIDEO /our-services/surgery-and-diagnostics/endoscopy/colonoscopy.aspx


If diet and lifestyle changes, drug therapy, or other treatments don't relieve your IBD signs and symptoms, your doctor may recommend surgery. This information sheet gives you more information on the surgcical options available.


Prescription charges


If you need more than 3 prescription items in 3 months or 14 in 12 months it may be worth buying a Prescription Pre-payment Certificate.

The charge for a single prescribed medicine is £7.65, whereas a three-month PPC will cost you £29.10 and a 12-month PPC £104.00.

For more information visit and our drug information pages

'Care received was fantastic and I was very well looked after and very impressed.'

Patient, Day Surgery, Darlington Memorial Hospital