Inflammatory Bowel Disease News

Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, encompasses a variety of disorders. They all cause inflammation in the digestive tract and lead to such symptoms as abdominal pain, diarrhea, loss of appetite and even weight loss or bleeding from the rectum.

The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These two conditions are very similar, but they typically affect slightly different parts of the body and exhibit some subtle differences in symptoms. Both occur most frequently in people ages 15 to 30, but ulcerative colitis is a little more common in men than women and Crohn’s disease is more common in women than men.

Where IBD Strikes

Crohn’s disease can be present throughout the intestine, but its preferred targets are the last portion of the small intestine and first portion of the large intestine. When it strikes, the symptoms mentioned above are common, as well as fever, weakness and fatigue. Over time, Crohn’s disease can lead to complications such as ulcers, fistulas and even an increased risk for cancer.

Ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, usually affects only the colon (the large intestine). The symptoms are similar to Crohn’s disease, but it usually begins with loose and bloody stools and then progresses from there. Severe complications are not as common with ulcerative colitis, but it can lead to ulcers, abdominal bloating and an increased cancer risk.

Complications from both of these forms of inflammatory bowel disease can extend beyond the gastrointestinal tract, as well. For example, Crohn’s disease can impact the liver, skin, joints and eyes. Ulcerative colitis is often related to anemia, among other complications.


Medications are available to treat Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis and other forms of IBD. If medications prove to be unsuccessful, surgery to remove a portion of the intestine might be considered.

SOURCES: U.S. Office on Women's Health; U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Date Posted
Article Title
Country Kids Less Likely to Develop Bowel Disease Than Their City Cousins

Rural living may have protective effect, Canadian study suggests

Scientists Spot Genes Behind Crohn's, Ulcerative Colitis

Large study finds key mutations that may be tied to raised risk for inflammatory bowel disease

Arthritis Drug Shows Promise for Ulcerative Colitis

But treatment isn't yet approved by FDA to treat inflammatory bowel condition

Special Diet May Be Boon for Kids With Crohn's, Colitis

Eating plan focuses on natural, non-processed foods, such as fruits, veggies and nuts

Germs in Dog Poop Can Point to Bowel Trouble

Unfortunately, the same diagnostic technique doesn't work for humans, researchers say

To Help Prevent Colon Cancer, 'Listen to Your Gut'

Belly pain and black or bloody stools should not be ignored, doctor says

Stool Transplant Soothes Tough-to-Treat Colitis in Study

Eased symptoms, healed colons in 1 in 4 patients

MS Patients May Be Prone to Other Chronic Illnesses, Study Finds

High blood pressure, diabetes, heart disease and depression among common co-existing conditions

Psych Therapies May Have Long-Term Benefits for Irritable Bowel Patients

Treatments might help ease gastrointestinal symptoms for at least six months, study finds

Childhood Abuse Linked to Ulcerative Colitis Later in Life

But study finds no association with another inflammatory bowel disease

Crohn's Disease, Colitis Tied to Anxiety in Study

Women at greater risk of this 'double jeopardy,' researcher says

Viruses May Play Role in Crohn's Disease, Colitis: Study

More research is needed to define what role they play, researcher says

Crohn's, Colitis May Have Genetic Underpinnings, Study Finds

Scientists find evidence that genes influence the mix and make-up of gut bacteria

Certain Autoimmune Drugs in Pregnancy May Up Newborn Infection Risk: Study

Colitis therapy tied to 4 cases of low white blood cell count in newborns, but some docs question the finding

Diet Changes Can Alter Gut Bacteria, Study Says

Researchers monitored stool samples of two people for a year

Popular Crohn's, Colitis Drugs Not Linked to Short-Term Cancer Risk: Study

After nearly 4 years of follow-up, people taking the drugs were no more likely to develop cancer

Depression Tied to Crohn's Disease Flare-Ups

Doctors should be aware of body-mind connection with the inflammatory bowel condition, study author says

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Raised Risk of Heart Trouble Seen in Celiac Disease Patients

Researchers suggest inflammation caused by the digestive disorder may explain the link

Gut Bacteria May Play Role in Crohn's Disease

Study found more harmful strains, fewer helpful ones in people with the inflammatory bowel condition

Stem Cell Discovery Might Someday Help Treat Colitis, Crohn's

Researchers envision ability to replace disease-damaged organs

Extra Vitamin D May Ease Crohn's Symptoms, Study Finds

Improvements reported in muscle strength, fatigue and quality of life

Simponi Approved for Ulcerative Colitis

Blocks process that contributes to abnormal inflammation

Flu Vaccine Safe for Kids With Crohn's, Colitis: Study

It may even reduce their bowel symptoms, researchers say

Fecal Transplant Studied for Kids With Bowel Disease

Symptoms of ulcerative colitis disappeared for one-third of patients after process

Study Pinpoints Women at Risk for Blood Clots From Pregnancy

Factors include age, disease history and weight

'Worm Therapy' Might Help Ease Colitis, Monkey Study Shows

Unappetizing as it sounds, the treatment relieved symptoms in primates and might help humans

Coffee May Speed Up Bowel Recovery From Colon Surgery

Normal function resumed more quickly than for water drinkers alone, study found

Humira's Approval Widened to Include Ulcerative Colitis

Disease causes inflammation in large intestine

Antibiotics in Childhood May Increase Bowel Disease Risk: Study

But real-world risk still is low, experts say

New Drug Might Help Treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Maker-funded studies found reduction in symptoms such as abdominal pain

New Drug Approved for Irritable Bowel, Chronic Constipation

Linzess sanctioned for cases that don't respond to conventional treatment

Mouse Study Suggests Certain Fats Could Trigger Crohn's, Colitis

Concentrated milk fat increased inflammation, but polyunsaturated fat did not

Travel to High Altitudes Tied to Crohn's, Colitis Flare-Ups

Symptoms more likely to spike after mountain climbing, skiing and even flying, study says

Birth Control Pills, HRT Tied to Digestive Ills

Researchers found apparent connections between estrogen treatments and Crohn's disease, colitis

Migraines More Likely for People With Celiac Disease, Study Says

Early research also links headaches to gluten problems, Crohn's disease and colitis

Gene Mutations Linked to Crohn's Disease in Ashkenazi Jews

Jews of Eastern European descent are more likely to have the inflammatory bowel condition

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Kids With Crohn's Disease, Colitis Often Struggle at School: Study

Frequent absences, depression can affect how well students with bowel disease do academically

Tropical Trip OK for Most With Crohn's, Colitis

Symptom-free patients have no greater risk for gastro infections than general public, study finds

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Less Common in Sunny States

Researchers say sunshine may boost vitamin D levels, affecting immune function

As Nations Develop, So May Bowel Disease

Researchers identify inflammatory bowel disease as a global problem

Endometriosis Tied to Higher Risk of Crohn's, Colitis

Large Danish study suggests possibility of connection between the illnesses in women

Chronic Bowel Disease Drugs Linked to Skin Cancer Risk

Two studies find immunosuppressants called thiopurines may raise risk of non-melanoma cancers