Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is generally used to describe two conditions: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease are long-term, chronic conditions that involve inflammation of gastrointestinal tract, or stomach area.
Ulcerative colitis only affects the colon (large intestine), while Crohn’s disease can affect all of the digestive system, from the mouth to the anus. The symptoms of both conditions are similar, including:
- pain, swelling or cramping in the tummy
- recurring or bloody diarrhoea
- weight loss
- extreme tiredness
Not everyone has all of these symptoms, and some people may experience additional symptoms, including vomiting, anaemia and high temperature or fever. Most patients will be diagnosed with IBD with a flexible camera inserted into the bowel called flexible sigmoidoscopy or colonoscopy. This would be carried out in one of our Endoscopy Departments.