Inflammatory bowel disease in the U.S. - Statistics & Facts
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to disorders that cause chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. The two most common types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. IBD can be difficult to diagnose because symptoms are typical of other illnesses and diseases and can vary from person to person. Symptoms of IBD include diarrhea, stomach pain and cramping, bleeding ulcers, weight loss, and fatigue. A survey of patients with Crohn's disease in North America and Europe found that 56 percent had experienced tiredness/exhaustion/fatigue in the past month, while 53 percent had abdominal pain/cramps. Such symptoms were only slightly less common among patients with ulcerative colitis.
Prevalence of inflammatory bowel disease in the United States
The first step in treatment for IBD includes the use of anti-inflammatory drugs, usually followed by immune suppressants and antibiotics. However, patients can use different strategies to try to improve IBD symptoms. A survey of IBD patients in the U.S. in 2020 found that the most common strategies for improving IBD symptoms include increasing hydration, avoiding certain foods, avoiding stimulants, and increasing fiber consumption. Although the exact cause of IBD remains unknown, genetics is known to play a role, and a healthy diet, exercise and not smoking tobacco may help prevent such diseases.
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