Symptoms and Signs of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Symptoms, Types, Treatment, and Cure

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Medically Reviewed on 3/11/2019

Doctor's Notes on Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) Symptoms, Types, Treatment, and Cure

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a term for a group of diseases that cause inflammation of the intestines believed to be due to autoimmune disease. The two main diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease (also termed Crohn disease) is chronic inflammation of any part of the digestive tract, although usually involves the terminal small bowel, cecum and anus. The most common signs and symptoms include diarrhea, crampy or steady pain in the right lower abdomen (sometimes relieved for a short time by a bowel movement), pain or bleeding with a bowel movement and, in some individuals, bloating after eating, constipation, and/or infections of the urinary tract or vagina (caused by fistula formation). The following general symptoms may occur in some patients; fatigue, weight loss and low-grade fevers. Ulcerative colitis is an acute or chronic inflammation of the colon (large bowel or large intestine). Signs and symptoms include inflammation of colon tissue and it can produce sores and ulcers; it is usually limited to the colon and rarely affects the small intestine, except for the terminal ileum. Common signs and symptoms include frequent loose stools (sometimes with blood), lower abdominal discomfort and pain, fever, lethargy, appetite loss, weight loss, bowel incontinence and anemia. Occasionally, other body organs may be involved; for example, eye problems, joint problems, neck or back pain, skin rashes, liver and bile duct problems and/or kidney problems.

The exact causes of inflammatory bowel diseases are unknown. Theories suggest they may occur due to a combination of genetic (familial), environment, diet, blood vessel and/or psychosocial factors that cause the disease. Other researchers theorize the immune system is the cause by overreacting to a virus or bacterium.

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REFERENCE:

Kasper, D.L., et al., eds. Harrison's Principles of Internal Medicine, 19th Ed. United States: McGraw-Hill Education, 2015.