A Community for Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis
The IBD Support Group offers a unique website
dedicated to interaction between Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis sufferers
Congratulations! You’ve found your way to the community created specifically for Inflammatory Bowel Disease and Digestive Health sufferers. We are a public education organization for sufferers. We launched our first website about digestive health in 1995.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine. The major types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Inflammatory Bowel Disease is not the same as Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
The main difference between Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis is the location and nature of the inflammatory changes. Crohn’s can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from mouth to anus (skip lesions), although a majority of the cases start in the terminal ileum. Ulcerative colitis, in contrast, is restricted to the colon and the rectum.
Although very different diseases, Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative colitis may present with any of the following symptoms: abdominal pain, vomiting, diarrhea, rectal bleeding, severe internal cramps/muscle spasms in the region of the pelvis, weight loss and various associated complaints elsewhere in the body, including the joints, eyes, skin, and liver. Diagnosis is generally by colonoscopy with biopsy of pathological lesions.
While patients of IBD do have an increased risk of colorectal cancer, this is usually caught much earlier than the general population in routine surveillance of the colon by colonoscopy, and therefore patients are much more likely to survive.
The goal of treatment is toward achieving remission and to prevent surgery. After remission is achieved the patient is usually switched to a drug with fewer potential side effects.
It is estimated that 1.4 million Americans suffer from Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative colitis. American Jews of European descent are four to five times more likely to develop IBD than the general population. The incidence of IBD does not appear to be significantly different between men and women. IBD can begin at any age, but adolescents and young adults between the ages of 15 and 35 are most susceptible. Ten percent, or an estimated 100,000, of those afflicted are youngsters under the age of 18. After age 50, there is a smaller second wave of new cases.
Please feel free to post any questions on our forums that you might have about any of the information we have contained on our web site. You might be surprised how helpful members and our forum moderators are of each other!Source:
- Baumgart DC, Carding SR (2007). “Inflammatory bowel disease: cause and immunobiology.”. The Lancet 369 (9573): 1627–40. doi:10.1016/S0140-6736(07)60750-8. PMID 17499605
- Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation of America