Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a chronic condition that causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This inflammation can lead to symptoms of diarrhea, rectal bleeding, unexplained weight loss, fever, abdominal pain and cramping, a feeling of tiredness, reduced appetite and/or bowel urgency.
The two main types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease usually affects the lower part of the small intestine but can involve any part of the GI tract, from the mouth to the anus. It involves some or all layers of the lining of the GI tract. The areas of inflammation are often patchy, with sections of normal gut in between.
Ulcerative colitis affects the large intestine (colon and rectum) and only involves the inner-most lining. The inflammation begins in the rectum and lower colon and may extend up the colon in a continuous pattern.
The main treatment for IBD usually involves drug therapy and in some cases, surger...