Inflammatory bowel disease, also known as IBD, is the term for a group of illnesses in which one or more parts of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract suffer from chronic (long-term) inflammation.1
The two main forms of IBD are Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis.1 IBD is an autoimmune disorder – where your immune system incorrectly attacks your own body, causing abnormal inflammation in the gut. Over time, this constant inflammation damages your tissues, leading to the varying symptoms of IBD.1-3
If you have had abdominal pain, bloating, or a change in bowel habits for more than 6 weeks, your doctor might suggest a blood test to look for the markers of inflammation that suggest you have IBD.4
Inflammation of the lining of the large intestine and rectum (called mucosa).2
Inflammation of any part of the digestive system which may occur in some areas and not others.3
When you have just been diagnosed, the amount of information online can be overwhelming. Find below our short video on life after diagnosis, as well as our podcast, What I wish I'd known, which focuses on the first questions you may have following diagnosis.
Learn about the steps you can take following diagnosis in different areas of your life, to get yourself back on track and get the support you need.
The views expressed in this podcast are those of the individuals involved and do not represent those of Janssen. This podcast is intended to be informative and educational and is not a substitute for professional diagnosis or treatment. This podcast was funded by Janssen Sciences Ireland UC and participants were paid for their time.
CP-389853 June 2023
Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) can affect people of all ages and genders.2,3,6
While the underlying causes of IBD are not fully understood, research suggests that it is due to a combination of several factors including genetics, a problem with the immune system, environmental triggers, and/or previous infection.1-3,10
Studies show that relatives of someone with IBD have an 8- to 10-fold greater risk of developing these conditions than usual. Genetic factors are stronger for Crohn’s disease (CD) than ulcerative colitis (UC).11
Most cases of IBD are Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. Which one you have depends on the exact location and nature of the inflammation.
Sometimes IBD is called ‘indeterminate colitis’ when doctors are not sure which type you have.12
Find out about other types of IBD at Crohn’s & Colitis UK.
Find out how Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are diagnosed
Many people with IBD, particularly those who have been recently diagnosed, struggle to talk about their condition. Find resources to help you get started.
Finding the right treatment can be difficult and you may need to try several different options to find one which works for you. Find out more on treatment options.
With IBD, you may experience a range of symptoms. Read more and learn how to manage these symptoms and talk about them with others.
You will have many questions about how to continue as normal a life as possible and how you can keep yourself well. Explore Living Well to find out more.
*IBDrelief patient survey data from 167 respondents with IBD in the UK. Pre-diagnosis 52% of respondents reported an emotional wellbeing score of 3/10 of lowers, with just 18% reporting this low a score after being diagnosed.13
CD = Crohn’s disease; GI = gastrointestinal; IBD = inflammatory bowel disease; UC = ulcerative colitis.