Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s & Colitis)

What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Inflammatory bowel disease is the umbrella term for a number of diseases, including the two most common ones Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease can cause inflammation of the digestive tract, anywhere from the mouth to the anus. It can spread deep into the layers of the bowel, and can damage the walls due to the continued inflammation.

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative Colitis (UC) is characterised by inflammation of the lining of the colon and the rectum. This is usually in response to an infection, however the inflammation continues after the infection subsides. The ongoing inflammation can cause damage to the colon.

What are the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease?

Common symptoms of Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis include:

What causes inflammatory bowel disease?

Genetics, other immune disorders and environmental factors can increase the risk of IBD. However, the exact cause is still unknown.

How is IBD diagnosed?

Your doctor will conduct a number of tests to determine what is causing your symptoms. These include:

  • blood and stool tests,
  • colonoscopy,
  • CT scans,
  • MRI, and
  • ultrasound

What treatment options are available?

While there’s no cure, there are a number of treatments that can help induce remission, such as:

  • aminosalicylates,
  • corticosteroids,
  • antibiotics,
  • biologics,
  • immunosuppressants, and
  • surgery (for severe and refractory cases of UC).

Find out more about IBD

To find out more about inflammatory bowel disease such as Crohn’s and Colitis talk to one of our gastroenterologists today.