Inflammatory bowel diseases

Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are a group of chronic disorders of the gastrointestinal tract that may occur at various times over lifetime. The main IBD entities are Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). Both diseases are characterized by periods of active inflammation interrupted by asymptomatic periods. Relapses are accompanied by an increase in symptoms. Fatigue, abdominal pain and depression are, however, frequently ascribed to IBD even if the disease is in an inactive phase.

(Reference: Russel MG, MD PhD, Bokkers RPH, MD PhD, Bergh van den FAJTM, PhD. Noninvasive diagnostic tools for diagnosing and monitoring inflammatory bowel disease patients. Thermo Fisher Scientific ImmunoDiagnostics Journal No. 1.2012).


Crohn's disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, from mouth to anus (skip lesions). The majority of inflammation processes start in the terminal ileum.

Inflammation in ulcerative colitis is restricted to the colon and the rectum.