What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) covers a group of chronic diseases primarily affecting the gastrointestinal tract. We still don’t know that causes IBD, which can occur at any age. It’s believed to be a combination of genetics, altered immune system, environmental factors and the condition of the microbiome (the mixture of bacteria living in the intestines.) The most common types of IBD are:

  • Crohn’s disease: This is an inflammation of the digestive tract – anywhere between the mouth to the anus. It is a patchy condition, meaning it can be found in multiple areas at the same time. It most commonly occurs at the end of the small bowel (ileum) and beginning of the colon. Typical symptoms include abdominal pain, anemia and malnutrition.
  • Ulcerative colitis: The condition is characterized by sores or ulcers in the large intestine (the colon and rectum). You may experience symptoms of urgency or frequent diarrhea with bleeding.

How is IBD diagnosed?

Diagnosis begins with a review of your symptoms, medical history and a physical examination. Next, our team uses a wide array of state-of-the-art diagnostic tests, imaging and endoscopic procedures to determine the specifics of your condition. Among the diagnostic tools we offer: