Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is an umbrella term for the chronic gastrointestinal inflammatory conditions ulcerative colitis and Crohn's Disease

About 7 million people worldwide are living with IBD. The most common age of onset of IBD is between 15 and 35 years.

25% of people with IBD are diagnosed by the age of 20.


Causes are poorly understood but may include changes in genes, immune system, environment, and gut microbiome.


What are some symptoms of IBD?

Crohn's Disease

  • Diarrhea
  • Belly pain
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Fever
  • Mouth sores
  • Skin rashes
  • Joint pain
  • Eye redness


Ulcerative Colitis

  • Diarrhea that might happen 10 or more times a day
  • Bloody bowel movements
  • Bleeding from the anus
  • Mucus coming out of the anus
  • Belly cramps
  • Fever
  • Weight loss
  • Swelling and pain in the hips and knees
  • Skin rash



What can I do?

Maintain a diverse and nutrient-rich diet

Consult with your doctor or dietitian before making any changes to your diet

Preventative Health and Vaccines:

Talk to your doctor about:

  • Safety and appropriate timing of vaccinations for:
    • Influenza
    • pneumococcal pneumonia
    • herpes zoster
    • other vaccine-preventable diseases
  • Screening for:
    • osteoporosis
    • cervical cancer
    • melanoma and non-melanoma skin cancer
    • colorectal cancer
  • Identification of depression and anxiety
  • Smoking cessation


TIPS to make the most of your doctor's visit:

Before your visit

  • Do some research before your visit
  • Write down questions and answers
  • Bring along a trusted family member or friend

During your visit:

  • Be specific when describing how you feel
  • Don't be afraid to ask questions
  • Speak up if something is confusing

Remember: IBD may vary among patients, so discuss goals and options for treatment and monitoring strategies suitable for you.


Visit The Crohns and Colitis Foundation for more information.


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© Jatinder S. Sekhon, M.D.