Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is typically a group of inflammatory conditions of the colon and small intestine. The main forms of IBD are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis (UC). The main difference between Crohn's disease and UC 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.
There is no exact cause of IBD. IBD is called an idiopathic disease (disease with an unknown cause). Possible causes may be:
Genes linked to IBD
The treatment of inflammatory bowel disease depends on its form. IBD may require immunosuppression through prednisone, TNF inhibition, azathioprine (Imuran), methotrexate, or 6-mercaptopurine to control the symptom. More commonly, treatment of IBD requires a form of mesalazine.
Severe cases may require surgery, such as bowel resection, strictureplasty or a temporary or permanent colostomy or ileostomy.