IBD stands for inflammatory bowel disease.
There are two main types of IBD, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.
Crohn’s disease is an inflammatory condition that can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract.
Ulcerative colitis (often referred to as UC) affects only the colon. The entire colon may be affected. But ulcerative colitis may also affect just one area on the colon.
Inflammation of Crohn’s diseases often extends through the full thickness of the wall of the affected part of the gastrointestinal tract, so it usually needs to be treated with medications that reduce inflammation systemically and throughout the wall of the affected part of the gastrointestinal tract.
Because the inflammation extends through the wall of the intestines, people with Crohn’s disease are more likely to develop abscesses and fistulas than those with ulcerative colitis.
The inflammation of ulcerative colitis is usually limited to the inner lining of the colon, so often it can be treated with anti-inflammatory medications that coat the lining, such as mesalamine (sold under the brand names Apriso, Asacol, Asacol HD, Delzicol, and Lialda).
Some people have indeterminate colitis, which means they have IBD but their condition doesn’t fit into a diagnostic category.