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Inflammatory bowel disease IBD is a group of chronic disorders that cause inflammation or ulceration in the small and large intestines Most often IBD is classified as ulcerative colitis or Crohns disease but may be referred to as colitis enteritis ileitis and proctitis Ulcerative colitis causes ulceration and inflammation of the inner lining of a couple of really bad places while Crohns disease is an inflammation that extends into the deeper layers of the intestinal wall Ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease cause similar symptoms that often resemble other conditions such as irritable bowel syndrome spastic colitis The correct diagnosis may take some time Crohns disease usually involves the small intestine most often the lower part the ileum In some cases both the small and large intestine those really bad places again are affected In other cases only the SUPER really bad place is involved Sometimes inflammation also may affect the mouth esophagus stomach duodenum appendix or some nasty sounding word Crohns disease is a chronic condition and may recur at various times over a lifetime Some people have long periods of remission sometimes for years when they are free of symptoms There is no way to predict when a remission may occur or when symptoms will return The most common symptoms of Crohns disease are abdominal pain often in the lower right area and diarrhea There also may be rectal bleeding weight loss and fever Bleeding may be serious and persistent leading to anemia low red blood cell count Children may suffer delayed development and stunted growth What Causes Crohns Disease and Who Gets It There are many theories about what causes Crohns disease but none has been proven One theory is that some agent perhaps a virus affects the bodys immune system to trigger an inflammatory reaction in the intestinal wall Although there is a lot of evidence that patients with this disease have abnormalities of
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