What are Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Inflammatory Bowel Disease?
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a collection of disorders involving chronic inflammation (pain and swelling) of the digestive tract: mouth, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestines. Any inflammation in the digestive tract interferes with the normal process of food digestion, absorption of nutrients, and excretion of waste products.
The types of inflammatory bowel disease are:
Crohn's disease – this condition is characterized by swelling of the digestive tract lining. It also involves inflammation in the deeper levels of the tract.
Ulcerative colitis – this type of IBD entails inflammation and ulcers along the superficial lining of the colon and rectum.
Microscopic colitis – this type of inflammatory bowel disease causes swellings on the intestines that can only be detected using a microscope.