"The number of US adults who have been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) has increased greatly since 1999—from 2 million to 3 million. However, these estimates do not include people younger than 18 who may also have the disease. May 19 is World IBD Day. Learn about IBD.
What is IBD?
IBD which is characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract1 includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The GI tract extends from the mouth to the anus and includes the organs that digest food, absorb nutrients, and process wastes. Long-term inflammation results in damage to the GI tract.
What are the symptoms of IBD?
Some common symptoms are:
- Persistent diarrhea.
- Abdominal pain.
- Rectal bleeding or bloody stools.
- Weight loss.