There are a number of common gastrointestinal conditions, disorders and diseases that may cause problems. These include:

Inflammatory bowel disease (ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease)

The two main types of IBD are ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn's disease (CD). UC and CD affect about 1 person in every 250 in the United Kingdom. They are chronic conditions which are not infectious. The most common age for diagnosis is between 10 and 40 years old. There is a higher chance of developing either illness if you have a close relative with the condition.

UC affects the rectum and the colon. Inflammation and ulcers develop resulting in bloody diarrhoea, stool frequency, abdominal pain and tiredness. If the inflammation only involves the rectum it is known as ulcerative proctitis. CD can affect anywhere from the mouth to the anus but most commonly involves the small bowel and/or the colon. It also causes inflammation and ulcers often in a patchy distribution. Symptoms include abdominal pain, diarrhoea, tiredness and weight loss. Investigations for IBD may include blood and stool tests, gastroscopy, capsule endoscopy, double balloon enteroscopy, CT enterography, barium follow through and colonoscopy with biopsies.


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