Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Two types of IBD are Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative Colitis (UC).

Crohn’s Disease: Inflammation of the lining of digestive tract. Often involves the deeper layers.

Ulcerative Colitis: Involves inflammation and sores (ulcers) along of large intestine (colon) and rectum.

Signs / Symptoms

What's common signs of inflammatory bowel disease?

Some symptoms are:

  • Abdominal cramping
  • Irregular bowel habits, passage of mucus without blood or pus
  • Weight loss
  • Fever, sweats
  • Malaise, fatigue
  • Arthralgias
  • Growth retardation and delayed or failed sexual maturation in children
  • Extraintestinal manifestations (10%-20%): Arthritis, uveitis, or liver disease
  • Grossly bloody stools, occasionally with tenesmus: Typical of UC, less common in CD
  • Perianal disease (e.g., fistulas, abscesses): Fifty percent of patients with CD

Common causes

What's common causes of inflammatory bowel disease?

Exact cause is unknown, it is considered as result of a defective immune system. Normally, immune system defends the body from organisms. In IBD, the immune system acts incorrectly.

Departments & Emergency

If have one or more signs/symptoms it is recommended a visit to Internal Medicine/Gastroenterology/General Surgery/Gastroenterology Surgery specialist in an appropriate time.


People of any age can get IBD, but it is usually diagnosed between the age of 15 and 40.

It is based on a combination of endoscopy (for Crohn’s disease) or colonoscopy (for ulcerative colitis) and imaging studies.

Also check stool samples to exclude an infection.

Run blood tests to help confirm the diagnosis.


There is no cure for Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. People that has mild ulcerative colitis, may need minimal or no treatment. They remain well for long periods of time. To relieve the symptoms and prevent symptoms returning with specific diets, lifestyle changes, medicines, and surgery.

It is recommended to see a specialist for people that has Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis since there is an increased risk of getting bowel cancer.


How do you get inflammatory bowel disease?

Exact cause is unknown, it is considered as result of a defective immune system.


Does IBD go away?

It is a chronic condition, which means IBD will not go away the rest of life. However, it can go through periods of remission, with no symptoms at all to disease flare ups with active disease symptoms. No known cure available for IBD.


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