Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) 

The chronic inflammation of all or part of your digestive tract. An abnormal response by your body's immune system.

IBD primarily includes: Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease

Ulcerative Colitis

  • Causes long lasting inflammation in part of your digestive tract
  • Symptoms usually develop over time instead of suddenly
  • Usually affects only innermost lining of large intestine(colon) and rectum

Crohn's Disease

  • Causes inflammation anywhere along the lining of your digestive tract and spreads deep into affected tissue
  • Can have abdominal pain and severe diarrhea
  • Can involve different areas of the digestive tract

Risk Factors

  • Age - usually occurs before the age of 30, but can occur at any age
  • Ethnicity - Whites are at a higher risk
  • Family history - higher risk if a close relative has the disease
  • Smoking - Can increase severity of symptoms and increase risk of complications
  • Where you live - Urban areas or industrialized countries are at higher risk

Signs & Symptoms

Ulcerative Colitis

  • Rectal bleeding
  • Rectal pain
  • Urgent, frequent, small bowel movements
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps/pain
  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fatigue 

Crohn's Disease

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramps/pain
  • Blood in your stool
  • Reduced appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • May have ulcers(small sores) in mouth similar to canker sores

Related Resources

Crohn's & Colitis Foundation of America
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (CDC)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Mayo Clinic)