What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)? (video)

IBD includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

IBD includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

Gauree Konijeti, MD, a gastroenterologist at Scripps Clinic who specializes in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), discusses the symptoms of this digestive tract condition, how it can put you at risk of developing colon cancer and when to seek medical treatment.

Video transcript

What is IBD?

IBD is inflammatory bowel disease and includes both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.

What are the symptoms?

The most common symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease are rectal bleeding, abdominal pain and an increase in stool frequency, usually diarrhea.

How do you know it’s time to see the doctor?

I would say you should see your doctor if you’re experiencing any of those symptoms, any rectal bleeding, frequent diarrhea that’s not stopping after a few days, chronic abdominal pain or any other symptoms that might be associated with the condition, such as weight loss, excessive fatigue, deficiencies in iron or B12.

Does IBD lead to cancer?

Inflammatory bowel disease is associated with an increased risk of colon cancer. The risk does increase gradually with time. So we start screening patients about eight years after their symptoms began. And we generally do that in intervals of every one to three years. There are certain factors that might impact how often we screen folks, but generally it’s every one to three years.

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