Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term typically referring to either Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, as well as other common forms such as diverticulitis.
Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis involve gut inflammation and are conditions which are long term. While Crohn’s disease affects varying areas of the digestive system, ulcerative colitis only affects the large intestine or colon. The most common age bracket for IBD is between the ages of 15 and 40, but IBD sufferers can be any age.
What are common Inflammatory Bowel Disease symptoms?
Typical symptoms experienced by IBD sufferers are:
- abdominal pain
- swelling and cramps
- extreme fatigue
- regular diarrhoea or diarrhoea involving blood
- vomiting and weight loss.
Less common IBD symptoms outside the bowel include iritis (painful red eyes), arthritis, jaundice and painful red skin nodules, also known as erythema nodosum.
While some IBD patients are affected on a daily basis, others can go through long periods of remission with no symptoms, these can be interspersed with flare-ups which can be severe in their intensity.