10 Terms to Help Understand IBD

Jennifer Rackley | Oct 24, 2013

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

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A group of conditions that cause chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.  The two most common being Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerative Colitis.

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Crohn's disease

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When chronic inflammation occurs anywhere in the digestive tract and may spread deep into the tissues.

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Ulcerative colitis (UC)

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When chronic inflammation occurs mainly in the large intestine and rectum. Colitis generally affects the innermost lining of these tissues.

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Stenosis

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In IBD, stenosis refers to the scarring of the bowel wall as a result of the chronic inflammation.

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Fistula

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Occurs when the inflammation of IBD spreads through the bowel wall and causes abnormal connections or passageways.

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Occult blood

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Blood in the stool that cannot be seen.

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Tenesmus

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The inability to move the bowels in spite of needing to do so.  This can happen when IBD affects the colon and rectum.

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Bowel obstruction

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Occurs when part of the bowel narrows or thickens and blocks the movement of digestive contents through the intestines.

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Ulcers

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Open sores that can occur anywhere in the digestive tract.

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Anal fissure

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Potential complication of IBD that happens when a crack in the anal tissue or tissue around the anus forms.  Infection is known to occur as a result.