According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), about 1 to 1.3 million Americans suffer from IBD, which can take several forms. The two most common inflammatory bowel diseases are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Both of these illnesses cause a person’s immune system to mistake food, bacteria, and other materials often present in the intestine, as hostile foreign substances. The immune system then attacks the lining of the intestines, resulting in chronic inflammation and severe gastrointestinal symptoms. Watch the following video to learn more about IBD, featuring Stephen B. Hanauer, MD, medical director of the Northwestern Medicine Digestive Health Center.