Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)
What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?
IBD is a group of diseases which cause inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. The main types are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
The cause of IBD is still unclear but is probably due to immune, genetic, environmental and possibly infectious factors. IBD is not caused solely by diet or allergies to certain foods, stress or just due to an infection.
IBD can develop in people at any age, however many people present when they are 15-30 years old and some not until their later life.
Symptoms of IBD include diarrhoea often with bleeding, abdominal pain, weight loss and tiredness. The severity of symptoms can be quite variable and may become more severe (flare) and then settle down with periods of no symptoms (remission).