Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms

"Inflammatory bowel disease" (IBD) is an umbrella term for a group of long-term illnesses that cause inflammation in the intestines.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that up to 3 million Americans have inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). The typical age of diagnosis for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) patients is under 30.

This article will look at the various forms of IBD and how they stack up against IBS (IBS). It discusses the signs, triggers, and treatments for inflammatory bowel disease.

Types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The two primary kinds of IBD are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. These will be covered in further depth in the following sections.

Ulcerative Colitis (a disease characterized by intestinal inflammation)

  • This condition causes inflammation of the colon. There are different types of ulcerative colitis based on location and severity. These are:
  • Ulcerative proctitis is a type of proctitis that happens when the inflammation stops at the wall of the rectal tube. This type of ulcerative colitis is typically the least severe.
  • Universal colitis, or pancolitis, develops when inflammation spreads across the entire colon.
  • Inflammation of the sigmoid colon and rectum is called proctosigmoiditis.
  • When inflammation travels up the left colon from the rectum, a diagnosis of distal colitis is made.
  • Acute severe ulcerative colitis is a rare condition that causes widespread inflammation of the entire colon, resulting in debilitating symptoms and suffering.

Crohn’s disease

Anywhere between the lips and the anus is fair game for Crohn's disease. Most of the time, it shows up in the large intestine and colon, especially in the last part of the small intestine and colon.

The incidence of this kind of IBD has increased over time. According to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, around half a million people in the United States currently suffer from it (NIDDK). They also suggest that the peak incidence of Crohn's disease occurs between 20 and 29.


Indeterminate colitis is a diagnosis given when a doctor can't tell if a patient has inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), which is more common. Collagenous colitis and Lymphocytic colitis are two other forms of inflammatory bowel disease.

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD symptoms depend on where the inflammation is and how bad it is, but they may include the following:

  • Diarrhea arises when afflicted portions of the colon are unable to reabsorb water.
  • Bleeding ulcers, which may result in blood in the stool (a condition known as hematochezia)
  • Intestinal blockage causes stomach pain, cramping, and bloating.
  • Weight loss and anemia in children might result in delayed physical growth or development.
  • Canker sores in the mouth are another symptom of Crohn's disease. Ulcers and fissures can form around the vaginal area or anus.

IBD can also be linked to issues outside of the digestive tract, such as:

  • Inflammation of the eyes
  • Skin problems
  • Arthritis

What Causes IBD?

The current theory is that IBD has multiple, unrelated causes. Rather, it is caused by a combination of variables, including genetics, a hyperactive immune system, an aberrant microbiota, and environmental factors, in each individual.

The immune system becomes overactive and begins attacking healthy tissue and organs for unclear causes. In addition to the intestine, it can affect the skin, joints, eyes, and liver.

How Is IBD Diagnosed?

IBD can be suspected based on a medical history, but the ultimate determination is based on the results of diagnostic tests. The following items may be included in the workup:

  • Examinations of the blood
  • Stool infectious workup and stool inflammatory marker to rule out infection
  • Endoscopy with upper and lower intestine biopsies
  • X-rays

To Wrap Up

Managing inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) may be feasible with the help of medication and dietary and behavioral adjustments, despite the lack of a cure.

About half of those with Crohn's disease will be in remission or have mild symptoms over the next 5 years with good therapy, according to the Crohn's & Colitis Foundation.

Another interesting fact is that about 45 percent of those who go into remission never relapse.

Roughly half of those diagnosed with ulcerative colitis experience remission yearly, while another 30% only deal with minor symptoms. A person's risk of having a flare the following year decreases the longer they are in remission.

Rarely does inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) results in death. However, the overall death rate of those with Crohn's disease is slightly greater than that of the general population. People with mild to moderate ulcerative colitis do not die more often than people who don't have IBD.

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