An estimated 1.6 million Americans suffer from Inflammatory Bowel Diseases (IBD) such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract — most commonly in the small bowel and the colon — creates problems with digestion, absorption of nutrients from food, and elimination of waste.
While the most common symptoms of IBD are diarrhea (sometimes bloody), abdominal pain and cramping, fever, and weight loss, others, such as skin rashes, anemia, arthritis, vomiting, loss of appetite and fatigue, are also common.
IBD may affect men and women of any age, but typical onset of symptoms occurs between the ages of 15 and 45. Diagnosis requires ruling out all other causes for symptoms, usually through a combination of tests.
The cause of IBD is unknown but it’s thought to be a combination of genetic predisposition, immune dysfunction and environmental fa