Intestinal Inflammatory Disease: Symptoms, Causes, Risk Factors and Complications

Payment Management Intestinal inflammatory disease medical concept

It is a term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of your digestive tract. His classes include:

Ulcerative Colitis : This condition causes lasting inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the inner lining of the large intestine (colon) and rectum.

Crohn’s disease : This type of intestinal inflammation is characterized by inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, which often extends deep into affected tissues.

Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease usually involve severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss.


Inflammatory symptoms of intestinal disease vary, depending on the severity of the inflammation and where it occurs. In this sense, the symptoms can vary from mild to severe. You are likely to have periods of active illness, followed by periods of remission.

Signs and symptoms that are common to both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain and cramps
  • Blood in the stool
  • Reduced appetite
  • Unintentional weight loss

When to suspect an inflammatory bowel disease and therefore consult a doctor

Consult your doctor if you experience a persistent change in your bowel habits or if you have any of the signs and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Although inflammatory bowel disease is usually not fatal, it is a serious illness that, in some cases, can cause life-threatening complications.


The exact cause of inflammatory bowel disease remains unknown. Previously, the type of diet and stress were suspect, but now doctors know that while these factors can be aggravating, they are not determinants in the disease.

A possible cause is a malfunction of the immune system. When your immune system tries to fight against an invading virus or bacteria, an abnormal immune response causes the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract, as well.

Inheritance also seems to play a role, being that it is more common in people who have family members with the disease. However, most people with the syndrome do not have this family history.

Risk factors of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Age: Most people who develop the disease are diagnosed before 30 years of age. But some people do not develop the disease until their 50 or 60 years.

Race or ethnicity: Although whites have the highest risk of the disease, it can occur in any race. If you are of Ashkenazi Jewish descent, the risk is even greater.

Family history: You are at higher risk if you have a close relative – such as a parent, a brother or a child – with the disease.

Cigarette smoking: Smoking is the most important controllable risk factor for developing Crohn’s disease. Although smoking may provide some protection against ulcerative colitis, the general health benefits of not smoking make it important to try to quit smoking.

Where you live: If you live in an industrialized country, you are more likely to develop the disease. Therefore, it may be that environmental factors, including a diet high in fat or refined foods, play an important role. Similarly, people who live in northern climates also appear to be at greater risk.

Complications of inflammatory bowel disease

Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have some complications in common and others that are specific to each condition. Complications found in both conditions may include:

Colon cancer

Having this bowel syndrome increases the risk of colon cancer. The general screening guidelines for colon cancer for people without inflamed bowel require a colonoscopy every 10 years starting at age 50. Ask your doctor if you need to do this test sooner and more often.


Inflammation of the skin, eyes and joints. Some disorders, including arthritis, skin lesions and ocular inflammation (uveitis), may occur during outbreaks of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Side effects of medication

Certain medications may be associated with a small risk of developing certain types of cancer. Corticosteroids may be associated with a risk of osteoporosis, high blood pressure and other conditions.

Primary sclerosing cholangitis

In this condition, the inflammation causes scars inside the bile ducts, eventually making them narrow and gradually causing liver damage.

Complications of Crohn’s disease may also include: Bowel obstruction. Crohn’s disease affects the entire thickness of the intestinal wall. Over time, parts of the intestine can thicken and narrow, which can block the flow of digestive contents. And you may need surgery.


Diarrhea, abdominal pain, and cramping can make it hard for you to eat or for your bowel to absorb enough nutrients to keep you nourished. It is also common to develop anemia due to low iron or vitamin B12 caused by the disease.


Chronic inflammation can lead to open sores (ulcers) in any part of your digestive tract, including the mouth and anus, and in the genital area (perineum).


Sometimes ulcers can spread completely through the intestinal wall, creating a fistula – an abnormal connection between different parts of the body. Fistulas near or around the anal area (perianal) are the most common type. In some cases, a fistula can become infected and form an abscess.

Anal fissure

It is a small tear in the tissue that lines the anus or on the skin around the anus where infections can occur. It is often associated with painful bowel movements and can lead to a perianal fistula

Toxic megacolon

Ulcerative colitis can cause the colon to swell and swell rapidly, this is a serious condition known as toxic megacolon that results in a hole in the colon (perforated colon). A perforated colon is most commonly caused by the toxic megacolon, but it can also occur on its own.