Step up during Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Month this November.TORONTO, Nov. 1, 2016 /CNW/ - November is Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Month in Canada, a country with one of the highest rates of Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis in the world. Both are debilitating and lifelong diseases caused by an abnormal response from the body's immune system. Canadians living with Crohn's or colitis are making tremendous strides to end the pain and isolation, but there is more to be done. During the month of November, Crohn's and Colitis Canada is focusing on two central themes: access to medications and washroom access. "We have come a long way in increasing public awareness about these debilitating chronic diseases, but there are still serious issues facing the nearly 250,000 Canadians living with Crohn's or colitis. During Crohn's & Colitis Awareness Month we are asking Canadians to advocate for 'No Forced Switch' and to declare washroom access as a basic human right," says Mina Mawani, President and CEO of Crohn's and Colitis Canada. Canadians with Crohn's and colitis need stability. Don't make them give it up. Crohn's and Colitis Canada celebrates the introduction of safe, effective, and lower-cost treatment options, as the ultimate goal of any treatment will always be stability, achieved through disease remission. For those who have found a medicine that works for them, a forced switch to an alternative medication may put their stability in jeopardy. For this reason, provincial and territorial governments should follow Nova Scotia's lead and mandate 'No Forced Switch'. "It can take many years for a patient to reach stability and this often only comes after a process of trial and error," says Dr. Brian Bressler. "The choice to switch to an alternative medication should always be made by a doctor in consultation with their patient." Join thousands of Canadians across the country by asking that doctors and their patients be able to select the treatment option best suited to each patient's individual circumstances. Use this form to reach out to your local policymakers: action.crohnsandcolitis.caOpen your doors and declare washroom access a basic human right. Canadians with Crohn's or colitis live with an invisible condition, and face pain, isolation and missed moments. These chronic diseases can cause 20 or more trips to the washroom a day, and each day, Canadians desperate for public washroom access are turned away. Patients want to be active, to work, to enjoy special moments, and lead normal lives. They can't do that when they are denied a basic necessity like access to a washroom.