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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease, IBD, is a group of illnesses whose primary focus is the intestine. There is inflammation of the bowel and in some cases other organs such as, the liver and skin. There are two main types of IBD - Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. They are distinguished mostly by their pattern of inflammation. Both can cause abdominal pain, diarrhea and intestinal bleeding.

Crohn's Disease

While most of it affects the small intestine, it can affect any part of the digestive tract from mouth to anus. One of the main characteristics is that it skips areas of the digestive tract so that there are inflamed areas with normal bowel in between. The entire thickness of the bowel wall is inflamed and it may form fistula (abnormal connections) between the bowel and other organs such as the bladder, skin and other bowel. In children, the disease may affect their growth. Collection of inflammation in the abdomen called abscess may form. The severity of this disease varies from patient to patient. Therapy including diet, medication and in some cases surgery, is dependent in the severity of the disease and particular complication which may occur.

Ulcerative Colitis

The other major form of IBD that only involves the colon (large intestine). The disease does not skip areas as in Crohn's Disease. Diarrhea, which is bloody, is common because the end of the colon (the rectum) is always involved. The level of inflammation above the rectum varies from patient to patient, as does the severity of inflammation. As with Chron's disease, the therapy for Ulcerative Colitis is dependent upon the severity of the disease and complications as they may occur. The therapy, which includes diet, medication and sometimes surgery, depends on the severity.

Contact us about Inflammatory Bowel Diesease, Crohn's Diseases or Ulcerative Colitis for a physician referral and priority scheduling.

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