Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease is a general term used to describe diseases that causes intestinal inflammation.
There are two main forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease. These are known as Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis which are both long-term (chronic) diseases which cause inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract- also known as the gut or bowel.
Indeterminate Colitis is a medical term used to describe inflammation of the large bowel that could be caused by either Crohn’s Disease or Ulcerative Colitis. With both conditions the chances of developing either increases if there is a close family relative who also has the same condition.
Another form of inflammatory bowel disease is Microscopic colitis which is less common and is only detected by taking a tissue sample (biopsy) from the bowel.
One of the main differences between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis is the part of the gastrointestinal tract that is affected. In cases of ulcerative colitis inflammation only affects the colon and rectum (large bowel). In cases of Crohn’s disease inflammation can occur anywhere in the digestive tract from the mouth to the anus however the small intestine and in particular the part known as the ileum is the commonest part affected.
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