Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is caused by a chronic activation of the immune system in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, the cause of which is unknown.

The medical symptoms of IBD include inflammation of the gut, ulceration, abdominal pain, increased stool frequency and bleeding. Patients often experience a poor quality of life with uncontrolled, urgent bowel movements up to 10 or more times a day, which can result in soiling of clothing and bedding. Patients may have to give up work and normal social activities, becoming house bound. Leaving home to attend an appointment at the hospital for treatment can be a significant challenge.

The two major forms of IBD are Ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease. IBD is becoming a major health problem. It is estimated that over 7 million people suffer from Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis worldwide. The majority live in the United States and Europe however, there is evidence of increasing prevalence in the rest of the world, including Africa, Asia and South America.