It is a group of inflammatory conditions that affect the colon and small intestine. It is sometimes referred to as idiopathic IBD because the cause of the disease is still unknown.
The major types of IBD are:
- Crohn’s disease, and
- Ulcerative colitis (UC)
Crohn’s disease affects any part of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, whereas UC affects the large intestines. Inflammation occurs on the lining of the intestines (mucosa), and open sores may result on the surface. The ulcers may produce excessive amounts of mucus with pus, and the intestinal lining may bleed.
The condition is relatively rare in the Asian population. As it is a chronic ailment, it may recur any number of times in a lifetime. Managing IBD is complex as it is possible to be in remission for long periods, yet suffer relapses any time. There is no way of predicting the pattern of episodes as every patient is different.