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What is an inflammation of the bowel?

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Quick Answer

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to a group of conditions where the intestines become inflamed as a result of the body's immune reaction to its own intestinal tissue, states WebMD. The two most common are ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

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Full Answer

While problems associated with ulcerative colitis are limited to the colon or large intestine, Crohn's disease may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, though it is often the small intestine, colon or both, according to WebMD.

Symptoms range from mild to severe and include abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea or bloody stools,

severe urgency, fever, weight loss, loss of appetite and iron deficiency anemia due to blood loss

Inflammatory bowel syndromes are typically diagnosed through stool tests and full blood counts.

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