Overview, Symptoms & Causes of
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)


The term inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) includes a set of gastrointestinal disorder conditions which are characterized by chronic intestinal inflammation. The cause of this inflammation is unknown or idiopathic, although it is shown that there is an autoimmune reaction in the origin of the disease. Thus, the immune system triggers a reaction against the intestinal organ itself.

The two major inflammatory bowel diseases include Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease. There are several differences between both: While Cohn’s disease affects any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus, Ulcerative colitis affects any part of the bowel continuously from the rectum into the small intestine covering most of the colon.

Crohn’s disease commonly affects the small intestine. Inflammatory bowel diseases present symptoms of diarrhea, vomiting, fever that leads to dehydration and weight loss, and abdominal pain. Both diseases are a cause of chronic diarrhea, although the symptoms are more intense in the “active” period of the disease in which there is more inflammation. Then, it follows a period of “remission” without any symptoms.

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are chronic, meaning they do not have a definitive cure, but treatment aims to control symptoms of the disease via pharmaceutical agents and surgery. Ulcerative colitis presents with remissions and relapses and Crohn’s disease is slowly progressive. In active periods both inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are manifested with all or many of the symptoms and then are followed by a period of remission that is asymptomatic.

Causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The cause of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) has not yet been determined according western medicine. That is the reason they are diseases called of unknown cause or idiopathic. Despite this, researchers have identified predisposing factors. Some factors increase the likelihood that the person’s immune system develops an inflammatory reaction in the intestinal tract. As a result of this response, the intestinal wall is damaged. This is the cause of diarrhea, bleeding and abdominal pain characteristic of these inflammatory bowel diseases.

Genetic Predisposition

There is a tenfold risk for close relatives. Despite this, there has not been an identified a gene that determines the development of inflammatory bowel diseases.

Causes Infectious

Pathogens (microorganisms) have been proposed assumptions that could cause Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease, but further studies have to be done.

Immune Process

A pathological process would produce an inadequate exposure of the gut immune system to specific antigens (for example, the protein of cow’s milk) giving rise to an immune-mediated injury. Furthermore, the fact that immunosuppressive therapy (corticosteroids) produces a significant clinical improvement supports this theory.


In exacerbations or flares of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), personality influences the course of the disease. Thus, the psychological tensions tend to magnify the symptoms of Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.

Food Allergy

Food allergies still have not been proven, but are a hypothesis that is handled. Intestinal inflammation could be the result of a food allergy.

Long Distance Telephone Appointments

If you are not local to the clinic, Michelle can conduct telephone appointments with you very easily. So if you are anywhere in North America, you can now successfully receive high end, specialized help for your Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. If you are local to the clinic in Hamilton, Toronto or Mississauga Ontario – by all means come in for your appointment. If not, telephone appointments are very popular and convenient.

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