Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (Salem Health: Cancer)
Related conditions: Colon cancer, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Definition: Inflammatory bowel disease is a chronic inflammation of the intestinal tissue. The two main conditions are Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis.
Risk factors: Inflammatory bowel disease may be at least partially inherited, as studies have shown that 20 to 25 percent of IBD patients have a close relative with the disease. Race and ethnicity may also be important determinants in the formation of inflammatory bowel disease, and American Jews of European descent are particularly prone to developing Crohn disease. For unknown reasons, higher socioeconomic status seems to predispose for IBD.
Etiology and the disease process: The development of inflammatory bowel disease is still undetermined, but it is thought to be the result of an abnormal immune response to an unknown antigen. In genetically susceptible individuals, this immune activation is prolonged, resulting in an inflammatory response that leads to intestinal tissue damage.
Incidence: Nearly 1 million Americans are estimated to be affected by inflammatory bowel disease, with an equal prevalence of ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease. Men and women are equally affected.
Symptoms: The symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease depend on the severity of the disease. Ulcerative colitis and...
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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Encyclopedia of Alternative Medicine)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is the general name for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. The disease is characterized by swelling, ulcerations, and loss of function of the intestines.
The primary problem in IBD is inflammation, as the name suggests. Inflammation is a process that often occurs to fight off foreign invaders in the body, including viruses, bacteria, and fungi. In response to such organisms, the body's immune system begins to produce a variety of cells and chemicals intended to stop the invasion. These immune cells and chemicals, however, also have direct effects on the body's tissues, resulting in heat, redness, swelling, and loss of function. No one knows what starts the cycle of inflammation in IBD, but the result is a swollen, boggy intestine.
In ulcerative colitis, the inflammation affects the lining of the rectum and large intestine. It is thought that the inflammation typically begins in the last segment of large intestine, which empties into the rectum (sigmoid colon). This inflammation may spread through the entire large intestine, but only rarely affects the very last section of the small intestine (ileum). The rest of the small intestine remains normal.
Crohn's disease is a form of IBD that affects both the small and large...
(The entire section is 2096 words.)