What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Chart of digestive system, which is affected by inflammatory bowel diseaseInflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two chronic inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract: Crohn’s Disease (CD) and Ulcerative colitis (UC). Both conditions can be painful and lead to long-term lifestyle changes.

Ulcerative colitis is a condition that creates sores in the innermost lining of the large intestine (the colon) and the rectum.

Crohn’s disease can create inflammations anywhere along the lining of your digestive tract that spreads deeply into impacted tissues. It most commonly impacts the small colon.

Both conditions usually cause abdominal pain and can lead to severe diarrhea.

The cause for these inflammatory bowel diseases is currently unknown. The condition occurs when the immune system becomes intolerant to normal bacteria that lives in the digestive system and begins to respond abnormally. This continuous reaction is uncontrollable and damages the intestinal wall.

The age of onset for these diseases is typically between 15 and 40.