Chronic, auto-immune disorder due to inflammation in the digestive tract. In ulcerative colitis inflammation is usually confined to the colon or large intestine. In Crohn’s disease inflammation can be from the mouth to the anus but usually affects the small intestine and large intestine
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition in which patients develop chronic inflammation of the bowels. The exact cause of IBD is unknown, although research suggests both hereditary and environmental components. IBD is typically divided into two types, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, although sometimes it may be difficult to make the distinction (indeterminate colitis).
Symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease may include include frequent, loose bowel movements, blood and pus in the stool, feeling of incomplete bowel movement, urgency, severe straining with bowel movements, joint pain and rectal pain. In addition, especially with Crohn’s disease, patients may complain of abdominal pain and bloating after meals, sores in the anal area, fevers and chills, weight loss, nausea and vomiting.
The diagnosis of IBD is typically made with an endoscopic examination. Treatment of IBD is aimed at decreasing the inflammation of the bowels and usually includes anti-inflammatory medication, corticosteroids, antibiotics, or medications to control or modify your body’s immune system. Dietary changes and certain supplements may also be recommended. In some cases surgery may be needed to remove the affected portion of the intestine.