The term inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) covers a group of disorders in which the intestines become inflamed (red and swollen). The major types of IBD are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. Symptoms include pain, diarrhoea and tiredness. IBD is not caused by diet or allergies to certain food components.

Crohns and ulcerative colitisCrohn's disease and ulcerative colitis affect the bowel in different ways.

Crohn's disease causes inflammation of the full thickness of the bowel wall and can occur in any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation of the inner lining of the colon and rectum. Ulcers may also form.

Estimates suggest 61,000 Australians have IBD - approximately 28,000 have Crohn's disease and 33,000 have ulcerative colitis.

The cause is unknown and treatment depends upon the type of IBD, which part of the gut is affected and how severe the disease is.

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IBD (Crohn's Disease and Ulcerative Colitis)

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