Inflammatory Bowel Disease  (IBD) (IBS)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a group of disorders that cause chronic inflammation of the digestive track Crohns Disease and ulcerative colitis  are the two most common of these diseases, affecting nearly 1 million Canadians .

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are similar in many ways. They both cause swelling and sores along the tissue that lines the digestive tract and can cause abdominal pain and frequent diarrhea . Crohns disease can develop anywhere in the digestive tract, from the mouth to the rectum, and penetrates into the deep layers of the lining. Ulcerative colitis usually affects only the outermost layer of the tissue lining the colon (the large intestine).

There is still much to be learned about Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, and laboratory and clinical research into their causes and treatments is under way at The Cleveland Clinic Digestive Disease Center and the Lerner Research Institute.

Causes

Scientists estimate that seven people out of 100,000 in the United States develop Crohn’s disease, and 10 to 15 people in 100,000 develop ulcerative colitis. The exact cause of these diseases is unknown, but the latest research suggests that they may be caused by a malfunction in the body’s immune system. Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis appear to run in families, and certain environmental factors may also increase an individual’s risk for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

Diagnosis

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are so similar that they often are mistaken for each other. Making an accurate diagnosis is important so that an individual can receive the most effective treatment for his or her disease. Cleveland Clinic gastroenterologists have extensive experience in diagnosing Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and are skilled in distinguishing between the two based on symptoms and test results. They use a variety of tests to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease:

Treatment

In the early stages of both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, medication is the recommended treatment. The goal of medical treatment is to suppress the abnormal inflammatory response and allow the intestinal tissues to heal. Once diarrhea  and abdominal pain are under control, medical treatment can reduce the frequency of flare-ups and maintain remission. At this time, there is no medical treatment that will cure inflammatory bowel disease.

*Note : The information on this page is not a medical statement or to give medical advice. Please seek the appropriate help from your medical professional.