Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a broad term that describes conditions with chronic or recurring immune response and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Inflammation affects the entire digestive tract in Crohn’s disease and only the large intestine in ulcerative colitis. Both illnesses are characterized by an abnormal response to the body’s immune system.
In people with IBD the immune system mistakes food, bacteria, and other materials in the intestine for foreign substances and it attacks the cells of the intestines. In the process, the body sends white blood cells into the lining of the intestines where they produce chronic inflammation.
IBD is a condition that gets worse over time and causes severe gastrointestinal symptoms that can affect quality of life.
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