Inflammatory bowel disease is a term that describes two conditions that affect the gastrointestinal tract. These include Crohn's disease and Ulcerative colitis. Crohn's disease is a chronic inflammatory condition of the bowel. The disease usually affects the lower portion of the small intestine. However, other portions of the large and small intestine may become involved. In this disorder, there is inflammation of the entire thickness of the wall of the bowel. It most commonly affect yond adults. Ulcerative colitis is also a chronic inflammatory condition of the bowel. Unlike Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis only affects the large intestine. Most commonly, the inner lining of the intestine is affected in these cases. The lining of the rectum is commonly involved. Like Crohn's disease, young adults are commonly affected. Both diseases tend to run in families.
Causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The cause of inflammatory bowel disease is unknown. There are suggestions that hereditary conditions may play a role, as the diseases tend to run in families.
Signs and Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Crohn's disease is varcharacterized by chronic diarrhea, fever, fatigue and weight loss. There may be abdominal pain or cramps, usually located in the middle or right upper abdomen. Some individuals have associated joint pain or skin rashes. Ulcerative colitis is also associated with diarrhea. Frequently, it contains blood. Abdominal pain is more common in the lower abdomen. Similar to Crohn's disease, there may be joint pain, skin rashes, fever and weight loss. Painful bowel movements occur.
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Medical Content Last Updated on 07/12/2008
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