What is inflammatory bowel disease?

Also known as: IBD, ulcerative colitis, Crohn’s disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are several related illnesses that cause chronic inflammation of the gut with swelling and damage of the bowel lining. IBD typically affects young people 15-35 yrs (though children as young as 5yrs of age may develop IBD), and Jewish children seem to be more frequently involved. Areas outside the gut may become inflamed like joints, eyes, skin, and liver. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are the two most common conditions classified as inflammatory bowel diseases and similarities, and differences between them exist.

In Ulcerative colitis only the lining of the large gut (colon) becomes inflamed and ulcerates, while Crohn’s affects all the layers of the bowel from mouth to anus. Both may have normal areas of bowel in between the inflamed parts.

Reviewed by: Juan L Calisto, MD

This page was last updated on: 1/29/2019 3:21:13 PM

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