Inflammatory bowel disease, sometimes referred to as IBD, is a group of disorders that cause chronic inflammation of parts or all of the digestive tract. Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are forms of IBD. Symptoms can include severe diarrhea, pain, weight loss, anemia, and fatigue. Inflammatory bowel disease, IBD treatment will vary depending upon which condition is diagnosed.
Ulcerative colitis affects the inner lining of the large intestine (the colon), causing those tissues to become inflamed and leading to sores, or ulcers. These ulcers tend to last a long time. Crohn’s Disease is deep inflammation in all or some parts of the digestive tract, often spreading deep into the layers of affected tissue. The most common areas affected in patients with Crohn’s disease are the colon and the last section of the small intestine.
What are the symptoms of IBD?
Because the symptoms for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) can vary widely and range from mild to severe, working with your GI Specialist to determine whether or not you have either ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s Disease is critical, so that the appropriate treatments can be provided and you can get back to your life and feeling better.
How do I get tested for Inflammatory Bowl Disease?
Some of the tests and procedures you can expect as part of your diagnosis and treatment would include a physical exam and talking with your provider about your medical history and symptoms. Blood tests are most often obtained to look for infection, anemia and any other underlying conditions or signs of malnutrition. You may be asked to provide a stool sample to test for the presence of blood. Endoscopic procedures are often used in diagnosis as well. These can include colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, upper endoscopy, and PillCam. X-rays, CT scans, and ultrasound may also be used. We perform endoscopic procedures in our Endoscopy Center located in Sandy, Utah, which allows you to get tested quickly, rather than waiting for an appointment at a hospital or other facility.
Frequently Asked Questions about Inflammatory Bowel Disease
No. While some of the symptoms for both are the same they refer to different conditions. IBS does not cause damage to the bowel, ulcers or inflammation. IBD refers to the goup of conditions which include ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease. IBS is usually managed only with dietary changes and medication, while IBD may require more intensive treatment and procedures.