Charity launches website for Crohn's sufferers


A new charity has launched a website to support Jewish sufferers of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

With Ashkenazi Jews being four times more likely to develop the digestive conditions, Jonathan Jay and Deborah Eckstein decided to launch Jewish Digest to offer medical, dietary and lifestyle advice for people with the illness.

Ms Eckstein hopes it will act as an online community for all those who want to connect with other sufferers.

She said: “Crohn’s is one of the two main forms of inflammatory bowel disease, the other main form is ulcerative colitis.

“There is a lot of stigma attached to it, people don’t want to talk about it, but it is prevalent in our community.

“It’s an embarrassing condition with symptoms people don’t normally want to discuss.

“Jonathan and I both noticed there was no place for those in the Jewish community, where people can get information and not feel they have to suffer in silence.”

She added: "Considering such a large number of people in the community have either Crohn's or colitis it's astonishing how few people actually talk about it. We as a charity hope to change that and want people to feel that they are not alone in this - there's a whole IBD community out there to connect with and feel a part of.

Mr Jay, from Hendon said: “I felt there has been a need for this for a long time. I’ve known so many people with it, as well as suffering myself and it really affects your lifestyle, and everyday choices.

“I’m not from a medical background, but we are working with the leading Crohn’s charity in the UK to disseminate information. And our trustee is a medical researcher investigating why Jews are more likely to suffer.

“The website is a first step for us - it is a place for people to get advice, share tips and find out what help is out there, but we hope to team up with other charities and run events in the future.”

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