About Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a term used to describe disorders that cause chronic inflammation of your digestive tract, including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Crohn’s can affect any area of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus. It often affects the lower part of the small intestine called the ileum.

The most common symptoms are pain in the abdomen and diarrhea. Other symptoms include bleeding from the rectum; weight loss; and fever. Crohn’s can cause complications, such as intestinal blockages, ulcers in the intestine, and problems getting enough nutrients. People with Crohn’s can also have joint pain and skin problems.

Some people have long periods of remission, when they are free of symptoms, but there is no cure for Crohn’s. Treatment can help control symptoms, and may include nutrition supplements, surgery, or medications.

Ulcerative colitis (UC) is a disease that causes inflammation and sores, called ulcers, in the lining of the rectum and colon.

The most common symptoms are pain in the abdomen and blood or pus in diarrhea. Other symptoms may include anemia; severe fatigue; weight loss; loss of appetite; bleeding from the rectum; sores on the skin; or joint pain. About half of people with UC have mild symptoms.

Some people have long periods of remission, when they are free of symptoms. In severe cases, doctors must remove the colon. Several types of drugs can help control UC.

Source:  Medlineplus.gov

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