Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Allen Hospital

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)