Crohn's Disease FAQs
What is inflammatory bowel disease or IBD?
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is divided into two diseases 1) Crohn's disease, and 2) ulcerative colitis. Crohn's disease can affect the entire digestive tract, whereas ulcerative colitis is confined to the colon. Because these diseases have many similarities, doctors often refer to them together as IBD.
What is Crohn's disease and what does it look like?
Crohn's disease (also spelled Crohn disease) is a chronic disease of the digestive tract that is characterized by inflammation. It can affect any part of the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus, but usually involves the small intestine (the duodenum, the jejunum, and especially the ileum) and/or the area around the anus. Although it is a potentially serious disease, many medications are now available to help patients' symptoms and reduce the development of complications.
What is inflammation?
Inflammation is a response of the immune system, which protects us from infections and other outside "invaders." When the digestive tract becomes inflamed, the tissue becomes red, swollen, and thickened. Painful ulcers develop and may bleed. This damage causes bothersome and embarrassing symptoms.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 5/25/2016
Sandeep Mukherjee, MD, MB, BCh
BS Anand, MD
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