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Inflammatory bowel disease IBD is a group of chronic disorders that causeinflammation or ulceration in the small and large intestines Most oftenIBD is classified as ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease but may be referredto as colitis enteritis ileitis and proctitis Ulcerative colitis causesulceration and inflammation of the inner lining of a couple of really badplaces while Crohns disease is an inflammation that extends into the deeperlayers of the intestinal wall Ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease causesimilar symptoms that often resemble other conditions such as irritable bowelsyndrome spastic colitis The correct diagnosis may take some time Crohnsdisease usually involves the small intestine most often the lower part theileum In some cases both the small and large intestine those really badplaces again are affected In other cases only the SUPER really bad placeis involved Sometimes inflammation also may affect the mouth esophagusstomach duodenum appendix or some nasty sounding word Crohns diseaseis a chronic condition and may recur at various times over a lifetime Somepeople have long periods of remission sometimes for years when they arefree of symptoms There is no way to predict when a remission may occur orwhen symptoms will return The most common symptoms of Crohns disease are abdominalpain often in the lower right area and diarrhea There also may be rectalbleeding weight loss and fever Bleeding may be serious and persistentleading to anemia low red blood cell count Children may suffer delayeddevelopment and stunted growthWhat Causes Crohns Disease and Who Gets It There are many theories about what causes Crohns diseasebut none has been proven One theory is that some agent perhaps a virusaffects the bodys immune system to trigger an inflammatory reaction in theintestinal wall Although there is a lot of evidence that patients with thisdisease have abnormalities of the immune system doctors do not know whetherthe immune problems are a cause or a result of the disease Doctors believehowever that there is little proof that Crohns disease is caused by emotionaldistress or
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