IBD – Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease or IBD includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which causes inflammation in the digestive tract. The causes of IBD are unknown. Inflammatory bowel disease symptoms include abdominal cramps, bloody diarrhea, and fever. Other symptoms of IBD include weight loss. The goal of IBD treatment is to suppress inflammation.

Quick Facts

Symptoms of Crohn’s Disease:

  • Abdominal pain, often in the lower right area
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Skin problems
  • Fever may also occur
  • Bleeding may be serious and persistent, leading to anemia

Symptoms of Ulcerative Colitis Disease:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloody diarrhea
  • Anemia
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Loss of body fluids and nutrients
  • Skin lesions
  • Joint pain
  • Growth failure (specifically in children)

Common Causes: 

The cause(s) of inflammatory bowel disease is not known. However people believe that it may be genetically linked since IBD is known to run in families.
 
An environmental cause is also believed to play a role in developing Crohn's disease because it most often occurs in people who smoke, are residents of Northern European countries, and live in urban areas.
 
Other researchers speculate that the disease may be caused by an infection or virus.
 
Still others believe that the body's immune system is reacting to unidentified or unknown substance. This substance would cause the immune system to respond inappropriately against normal intestinal tissue, resulting in chronic inflammation

Diagnosis:

  • Medical history review and review of symptoms
  • Physical examination
  • Series of tests may include upper GI, colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy
  • Biopsy

Common Treatment:

  • Nutritional supplements
  • Surgery, or a combination of these options
  • Treatment for Crohn's disease depends on the location and severity of disease, complications, and the person's response to previous medical treatments when treated for reoccurring symptoms. Many of the treatments are used for both conditions.
  • Someone with inflammatory bowel disease may need medical care for a long time, with regular doctor visits to monitor their condition. 

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