What is IBD?

IBD refers to conditions caused by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract, such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

The symptoms include:

  • Stomach cramps.
  • Diarrhea.
  • Gas and bloating.
  • Loss of appetite.
  • Mucus or blood in the stool.
  • Upset stomach.

Researchers have not yet determined the exact cause of IBD. Still, they believe it results from an immune system that is not working correctly.

Some medications used to treat IBD include:

  • Aminosalicylates.
  • Corticosteroids.
  • Immunomodulators.
  • Biologics

Symptoms of IBD are caused in part by inflammation.


“Once inflammation is present, treatment needs to be focused on controlling the inflammation, which often requires medical therapy, such as topical, biologics, small molecule inhibitors, and immunomodulators,” said Faye. “However, there is ongoing research on the role of diet and stress management in maintaining remission. We think IBD is a result of genetics and environmental factors (antibiotics) and it is difficult to discern how much each factor plays. The mainstay of therapy is controlling inflammation.”


If medications do not provide relief, your doctor might suggest other treatments.

“We have various interventions (medication, surgery, diet therapy, and cognitive behavioral therapy) that treat both active symptoms as well as symptoms which may be a sequel of prior inflammation. Fortunately, we have many advanced targeted medications which can put inflammatory bowel disease in remission and eliminate both inflammation and symptoms,” Dr. Jeffrey Berinstein, the clinical Lecturer at the Institute of Health Policy and Innovation at Michigan Medicine, told Healthline.

Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis affect different parts of the gastrointestinal tract, so surgery is different depending on the condition.

As more is learned about IBD and medications improve, the need for surgery has decreased.