10 Terms to Help Understand IBD

B.S. Dietetics, Dietitian, Health Professional
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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

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

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

Ulcerative colitis (UC)

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

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

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Fistula

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

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Occult blood

Blood in the stool that cannot be seen.

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Tenesmus

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

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

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Ulcers

Open sores that can occur anywhere in the digestive tract.

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Anal fissure

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.