What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to a group of inflammatory conditions of the digestive tract, including Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.

IBD is a lifelong condition typically diagnosed between the ages of 15 and 30.

The causes of IBD are still unknown, but some contributing factors may include:

  • Genetics
  • Environmental influences
  • Impaired immune responses

General Symptoms of IBD

Symptoms associated with IBD may include:

  • Severe abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Rectal bleeding

These symptoms can have a profound effect on a person’s quality of life, since they are often painful and socially undesirable.

Plus, the disease can strike at a young age, when people may be most sensitive to social stigma.

Fortunately, our experts at the UPMC Inflammatory Bowel Disease Center care for the whole spectrum of IBD, treating the symptoms as well as the mental and emotional impacts, with the overall goal of helping patients return to normal daily activities with confidence.

Learn More About IBD

Visit our Health Library for details on the following conditions (links will open a new browser window):

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