Understanding the Two Types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A resident of Boston, Massachusetts, Marie D’Angelo holds a BA in biochemistry and molecular biology from Boston University and a pharmacy doctorate from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. For two years, Marie D’Angelo worked as a clinical pharmacist and gastroenterologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Centre, where she helped take care of patients with inflammatory conditions.

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of disorders that result in chronic inflammation causing pain and swelling in the intestines. IBD can be classified into Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
While ulcerative colitis is usually limited to the large intestine or colon, Crohn’s disease, on the other hand, can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. According to research, inflammatory bowel disease can be caused by three factors:

Immune system response
The immune system response mistakes foods as foreign substances triggering the release of antibodies to fight off the threat leading to symptoms similar to IBD.

Genetics
It has also been found that 1 in every four people with IBD has a history of the disease in the family, leading to the belief that IBD can also be genetic.

Environmental triggers
Exposure to environmental triggers such as stress, medication, depression, and smoking to people with a family history of IBD can lead to the development of the disease.

Some of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease include unintended weight loss, bloody stool, diarrhea, reduced appetite, fatigue, abdominal pain, and cramping.

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