More On Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Since announcing our new study on Inflammatory Bowel Disease, we’ve received questions not just about the study, but about the disease itself.

Eligible Individuals
1. You have been diagnosed with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis by a qualified physician.
2. Your willingness to submit a saliva sample for DNA testing and complete online surveys related to your condition.
3. You have access to the internet.
4. You are at least 6 years old (those under 18 require a parental consent to enroll).
5. You are not a current 23andMe customer.*
6. You reside in the United States.*If you are a current 23andMe customer, learn how you can participate here.Learn More

IBD — which includes both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis — is often difficult to diagnose. The symptoms can sometimes be confused with other conditions. The symptoms can also come and go making arriving at an accurate diagnosis very difficult.

Recently, Dr. Jennifer Choi, the Associate Director of UCLA’s Center for IBD, gave a detailed talk on the condition. Neither Dr. Choi nor the UCLA Center is involved with 23andMe’s study, but they are a great resource for information about the condition.

While the video of that presentation is long, and is sometimes graphic, Dr. Choi very clearly explains everything from the anatomy involved to the differences between Crohn’s and ulcerative colitis. It’s a helpful primer both for those who have the condition and people who care about them, who are trying to understand what they are going through.

We’ve included the video below, but be forewarned that there are some graphic photos in the presentation that may be disturbing for some.






  • Margaret Greene

    I first would like to say, I am super excited about participating in the IBD research study. I appreciate all the attention that 23andme has brought to IBD itself, through this study. I am a 20 year IBD’r and retired nurse. I have Crohn’s, and also advocate. I was pleased to read yet another blog post about the study. I watched Dr. Choi’s video. I found almost all of the information helpful for a new IBD’r. I however, could not get past the part of video between 45-50 minutes in, where she states, “Surgery is a cure for Ulcerative colitis.” This is just simply not true, while, surgery treats the symptoms of ulcerative colitis in the colon, it is NOT a cure. A cure means, the disease isn’t present anymore. That is not true. As pioneers, in the genetic research for IBD, I believe it is , your utmost responsibility to provide true and clear information.

    • Scott23H

      Thank you Margaret for you comments. You are not the first to point out a few things in Dr. Choi’s video. We’ve had others who didn’t think she treated the option for surgery with enough seriousness. That said, she does not make recommendations for treatment but does give a very broad and detailed description of IBD and treatments. She is not connected to 23andMe, nor is the UCLA center, but we thought the video, which we were also not involved in making, was a good primer for people learning about the illness and at the very least a good launching off point for discussions about the illness. Again thanks for your comments. We hope to continue the conversation.

      • Margaret Greene

        Thanks so much, for the reply. I do understand it is a wonderful and informative video. I cannot however as an advocate, share the video on the IBD platforms I am involved with. It is of the utmost importance that all information be true and correct. I know the IBD community is watching. I feel like I am holding my breath waiting for the results of this study. I have waited half my life to witness this opportunity. I am beyond elated to be a part of it. Thank you.

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