Crohn’s disease is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes chronic inflammation in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This animation describes what happens to the immune system to cause Crohn’s disease, its symptoms (such as abdominal pain and diarrhea), and factors that contribute to its development (including genetics and environmental factors).
Ulcerative colitis is a type of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) that causes chronic inflammation in the large intestine, or colon. This animation describes what happens to the immune system to cause ulcerative colitis, its symptoms (such as abdominal pain and diarrhea), and factors that contribute to its development (including genetics and environmental factors).
No single test can diagnose or rule out inflammatory bowel disease (IBD); however, several tools and tests, described in this animation, can be used together to help diagnose IBD, determine the extent of disease, and distinguish between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis. They can also help predict the probable course and outcome of IBD.
A goal of a healthcare provider is to help people manage IBD rather than the disease managing them. This animation describes the goals of IBD management, including an accurate diagnosis, achieving disease remission and maintaining the remission without steroids, and dealing with the variety of emotional, psychological, and medical issues that may arise during IBD treatment. Ways that patient can take an active role in the management of their disease are also provided.
Patients and physicians must balance the risks associated with untreated inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) with the risks and benefits associated with potential treatments. This animation describes risks of untreated IBD as well as the benefits and side effects of drugs used to treat IBD, including aminosalicylates (5-ASAs), antibiotics, steroids, immunomodulators, and biologics.
Before starting treatment for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), patients should make sure that they are prepared. This animation describes ways in which patients can learn about their therapy, including learning about the risks of under-treated or untreated IBD, learning about the risks and benefits of the therapy, and being aware of the side effects associated with the treatment. The animation also discusses the need for appropriate vaccinations in people with IBD.
Biologics are a relatively new class of drugs used to treat inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Some biologics known as anti-TNF alpha agents work by specifically targeting a molecule made by the body, TNF-alpha. This animation describes what TNF-alpha is, how it causes inflammation in IBD, and how anti-TNF alpha therapies work to reduce inflammation caused by this molecule.
A significant portion of patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) will need surgery at some point to control their disease. This animation describes different surgical techniques that are used in patients with Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, including ileal pouch anal anastomosis (IPAA), total removal of the colon with permanent ileostomy, intestinal resection, and stricturoplasty.
Surgery may be required for some patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). In some surgical procedures, an ileostomy may be an option. This animation describes what an ileostomy entails, what a “stoma” is, what happens after the surgery, and what an ostomy pouch is. The goals of surgery for IBD are to cure (in ulcerative colitis) or achieve stable medication-free remission (in Crohn’s disease) and allow patients to live a healthy, active life.
The prime childbearing years overlap with the peak incidence of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and therefore, concerns about getting pregnant are common among women with IBD. This animation discusses the importance of achieving and maintaining remission prior to and during pregnancy to optimize outcomes for both the mother and child. The animation also describes which IBD medications are safe to take during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
Establishing and maintaining remission of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) symptoms before and during pregnancy is important for the health of both the mother and child. This animation describes the treatment options available to women who are or wish to become pregnant, including most drugs (aminosalicylates, steroids, immunomodulators, and biologics) that are regularly used to treat IBD (except thalidomide and methotrexate).