Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD for short is actually a disorder happening on every part of the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis (UC), that happens in the colon only and Crohn’s Disease (CD) affects any of the gastrointestinal tract segments traced from mouth to anus. The symptoms, however, which are not specific involves: cramping, irregular bowel habits, weight loss, fever, fatigue, arthralgias, bloody stools occasionally with tenesmus (typical of UC, less common in CD) and Perianal disease like fistulas or abscesses which happens to 50% of patients with CD.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to two different chronic conditions or diseases that may be related, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both diseases consist of inflammation of the wall of the bowel or intestines – hence the name – leading to bowel that is inflamed, swollen and that develops ulcers. The inflammation and its consequences are different in Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The inflammation results in various degrees of abdominal discomfort, diarrhea, and intestinal bleeding. Both diseases can result in serious digestive problems.
Types of IBD: Crohn’s Disease
In Crohn’s disease, inflammation involves the entire wall of the bowel, even the deeper portions. It may involve any part of the digestive tract from the mouth to the colon, rectum, and anus, although the small intestine, particularly the ileum, is the most commonly involved organ with the colon the next most commonly involved organ. One of the characteristics of Crohn’s disease is that involvement of the bowel may be discontinuous, that is, several areas may be inflamed but intervening segments may be normal.
Types of IBD: Ulcerative Colitis
Unlike Crohn’s disease, in ulcerative colitis the inflammation involves only the superficial layers of the wall of the bowel, the innermost lining. Involvement is limited to the colon and rectum without skipped areas. Inflammation may be limited to the rectum (referred to as ulcerative proctitis), but usually is more extensive, extending variable distances to involve the sigmoid, descending, transverse, and ascending colon.
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