There are various ways in which IBD can present itself in the human body. The most typical clinical presentations are Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s Disease can involve any part of the gastrointestinal tract and usually presents with abdominal pain and diarrhea that can persist for more than a month. It is sometimes associated with weight loss and fevers.
Ulcerative colitis affects the colon and usually presents with diarrhea, rectal bleeding, an urgency to defecate, a sense of incomplete evacuation. Weight loss and fevers are rare.
Blue – Unremitting
Red – Intermittent
Similar symptoms may be associated with other conditions, such as infections of the gastrointestinal tract, dietary intolerance (as occurs with gluten or lactose intolerance), irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), hemorrhoids and anal fissures. Inflammatory bowel disease is diagnosed based on the typical endoscopic (photo) and microscopic (picture) findings.
IBD is a chronic condition with a variable course.
Symptoms will depend on the site of disease involvement. The sites of the GI tract involvement generally remain stable over time. In other words, if one develops inflammation of the ileum, it is unusual for that person to then progress to develop inflammation of the colon.
Sites of Involvement
Blue – Ileum
Green – Colon
Red – Ileum and colon