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Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease: Introduction

Inflammatory bowel disease is a general term that includes several diseases that cause recurring inflammation of the small and/or large intestine. Inflammatory bowel disease is a common disorder and includes ulcerative colitis, Crohn's disease, and pouchitis.

In inflammatory bowel disease, inflammation of the large intestine and/or small intestine can lead to the formation of ulcers, resulting in scar tissue that thickens and narrows the intestinal tract. This can also result in the development of fistulas, abnormal pathways that run from the intestine to other organs or to the skin.

This process leads to symptoms that include diarrhea and abdominal pain. For more information on symptoms, refer to symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease can lead to serious, even life-threatening complications, such as peritonitis, rectal bleeding, anemia, deteriorating bowel function, bowel obstruction, fistulas, malnutrition, and problems with growth in children. It can also increase the risk of getting colorectal cancer.

Although there is no cure, inflammatory bowel disease is treatable and can often be controlled to effectively reduce symptoms and bring on periods of symptom-free remission.

Inflammatory bowel disease is not caused by eating certain foods, although some foods can irritate the bowel and intensify symptoms in people who already have the disease. The exact cause of inflammatory bowel disease is unknown, but researchers believe it may be due to the immune system's response to an infection. Inflammatory bowel disease may also have a genetic component, and it can run in families.

Making a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease begins with taking a thorough personal and family medical history, including symptoms, and completing a physical examination. It may also include doing blood tests and other tests that check for bacteria, viruses, and blood on stool.

Making a diagnosis may also include performing special imaging tests to see a picture of the insides of the intestines and look for areas of inflammation. These may consist of some combination of tests, such as a barium X-ray, CT scan, and a variety of tests using video imaging technology. One such test is a colonoscopy. A colonoscopy involves passing a small flexible tube fitted with a camera through the anus into the colon to look for areas of inflammation. During this procedure, samples of inflamed tissue are taken to be examined under a microscope to confirm a diagnosis.

A diagnosis of the inflammatory bowel disease can easily be delayed because symptoms, such as diarrhea and abdominal pain, may be associated with less serious conditions, such as gastroenteritis, and ignored. A misdiagnosis is possible, because the symptoms can mimic the symptoms of other conditions. For information on misdiagnosis, refer to misdiagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease.

There is no cure for inflammatory bowel disease. Treatment is aimed at minimizing symptoms by reducing inflammation of the bowel. This can often be achieved by using a variety of medications, depending on the type and severity of the conditions and the individual case. Dietary and lifestyle changes can also be helpful. Surgery may also be needed to control the disease in some cases. For more information on treatment, refer to treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. ...more »

Inflammatory bowel disease: This medical term is used for both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, two diseases in which the immune system attacks the gut (intestine). Patients may have diarrhea ... more about Inflammatory bowel disease.

Inflammatory bowel disease: Inflammatory bowel disease refers to digestive symptoms resulting from chronic bowel inflammation. Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are two of the main subtypes of the disease. Scientists have discovered an array of genetic mutations which can result in an increased susceptibility to inflammatory bowel disease. Not all people with the genetic anomaly will develop the condition but it can increase the risk especially if other environmental factors are also present. The severity of the disease that develops is variable. More detailed information about the symptoms, causes, and treatments of Inflammatory bowel disease is available below.

Inflammatory bowel disease: Symptoms

The symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease can mimic other conditions, such as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, diverticulosis or gastroenteritis. Symptoms can run the gamut from mild to severe. They also vary between individuals and the specific types of inflammatory bowel disease, such as Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

Symptoms can include ...more symptoms »

Inflammatory bowel disease: Treatments

Inflammatory bowel disease is not curable, but can it be effectively treated in many people, allowing them to live normal, active lives. The goal of treatment is to reduce inflammation of the bowel as much as possible. This can minimize symptoms, even produce long-term symptom-free remissions and decrease the chances of developing serious complications.

To achieve this requires regular ...more treatments »

Inflammatory bowel disease: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease may missed because its symptoms may be mistaken for symptoms of such conditions as irritable bowel syndrome, celiac disease, or diverticulosis. In addition, some people have such mild symptoms, that they mistake them for the symptoms of a less serious condition, such as gastrointestinal upset, gas, or gastroenteritis. This can result in a ...more misdiagnosis »

Symptoms of Inflammatory bowel disease

Treatments for Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Treatment varies depending on the severity of symptoms:
  • Eat a healthy diet - avoid dairy, fiber, meat and spicy, creamy, greasy or fried food.
  • Eat regular small meals
  • Nutritional supplements may be required if the patient has problems maintaining weight
  • Have plenty of rest
  • more treatments...»

Home Diagnostic Testing

Home medical testing related to Inflammatory bowel disease:

Wrongly Diagnosed with Inflammatory bowel disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease: Related Patient Stories

Inflammatory bowel disease: Deaths

Read more about Deaths and Inflammatory bowel disease.

Alternative Treatments for Inflammatory bowel disease

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed in various sources as possibly beneficial for Inflammatory bowel disease may include:

Types of Inflammatory bowel disease

Curable Types of Inflammatory bowel disease

Possibly curable types of Inflammatory bowel disease include:

Rare Types of Inflammatory bowel disease:

Rare types of Inflammatory bowel disease include:

  • Celiac disease associated ulcerative colitis
  • Dermatitis hepetiformis associated ulcerative colitis
  • Systemic and discoid lupus associated ulcerative colitis
  • Rheumatoid arthritis associated ulcerative colitis
  • Ankylosing spondylitis associated ulcerative colitis
  • more types...»

Inflammatory bowel disease: Complications

Review possible medical complications related to Inflammatory bowel disease:

Causes of Inflammatory bowel disease

  • Risk factors for developing IBD other than genetic factors include:
  • Living in cities
  • Living in developed countries
  • Smoking
  • more causes...»

More information about causes of Inflammatory bowel disease:

Disease Topics Related To Inflammatory bowel disease

Research the causes of these diseases that are similar to, or related to, Inflammatory bowel disease:

Inflammatory bowel disease: Undiagnosed Conditions

Commonly undiagnosed diseases in related medical categories:

Misdiagnosis and Inflammatory bowel disease

Chronic digestive conditions often misdiagnosed: When diagnosing chronic symptoms of the digestive tract, there are a variety of conditions that may be misdiagnosed. more »

Intestinal bacteria disorder may be hidden cause: One of the lesser known causes of diarrhea is an imbalance of bacterial in the gut, sometimes called intestinal imbalance. more »

Antibiotics often causes diarrhea: The use of antibiotics are very likely to cause some level of diarrhea in patients. The reason is that antibiotics more »

Food poisoning may actually be an infectious disease: Many people who come down with "stomach symptoms" like diarrhea assume that it's "something I ate" (i.e. food poisoning). In fact, it's more likely to be an more »

Mesenteric adenitis misdiagnosed as appendicitis in children: Because appendicitis is one of the more feared conditions for a child with abdominal pain, more »

Celiac disease often fails to be diagnosed cause of chronic digestive symptoms: One of the most common chronic digestive conditions is celiac disease, more »

Chronic digestive diseases hard to diagnose: There is an inherent difficulty in diagnosing the various types of chronic digestive diseases. Some of the better known possibilities are peptic ulcer, colon cancer, irritable more »

Inflammatory bowel disease: Research Doctors & Specialists

Research related physicians and medical specialists:

Other doctor, physician and specialist research services:

Hospitals & Clinics: Inflammatory bowel disease

Research quality ratings and patient safety measures for medical facilities in specialties related to Inflammatory bowel disease:

Choosing the Best Hospital: More general information, not necessarily in relation to Inflammatory bowel disease, on hospital performance and surgical care quality:

Inflammatory bowel disease: Rare Types

Rare types of diseases and disorders in related medical categories:

Latest Treatments for Inflammatory bowel disease

Evidence Based Medicine Research for Inflammatory bowel disease

Medical research articles related to Inflammatory bowel disease include:

Click here to find more evidence-based articles on the TRIP Database

Inflammatory bowel disease: Animations

Prognosis for Inflammatory bowel disease

Prognosis for Inflammatory bowel disease: The prognosis varies considerably amongst patients. Some patients suffer relatively mild symptoms and go into remission with simple treatment measures whereas others suffer severe illness and have frequent flare-ups.

Although patients with long-term disease face a higher risk of developing colon cancer, their survival rates tend to be better due to the fact that their condition means that their digestive system is regularly monitored and cancers tend to be detected earlier.

Research about Inflammatory bowel disease

Visit our research pages for current research about Inflammatory bowel disease treatments.

Clinical Trials for Inflammatory bowel disease

The US based website lists information on both federally and privately supported clinical trials using human volunteers.

Some of the clinical trials listed on for Inflammatory bowel disease include:

Statistics for Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease: Broader Related Topics

Inflammatory bowel disease Message Boards

Related forums and medical stories:

User Interactive Forums

Read about other experiences, ask a question about Inflammatory bowel disease, or answer someone else's question, on our message boards:

Article Excerpts about Inflammatory bowel disease

This medical term is used for both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, two diseases in which the immune system attacks the gut (intestine). Patients may have diarrhea, nausea, vomiting, abdominal cramps, and pain that can be difficult to control. Illness in afflicted individuals can result from intestinal inflammation and from side effects of the drugs used for the disease. (Source: excerpt from Understanding Autoimmune Disease: NIAID)

Definitions of Inflammatory bowel disease:

Representing a spectrum of small and large bowel inflammatory diseases of unknown etiology. It includes Crohn's disease, ulcerative colitis, and colitis of indeterminate type. --2003 - (Source - Diseases Database)

Inflammation of the colon - (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Contents for Inflammatory bowel disease:
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