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Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The term inflammatory bowel disease covers two main diseases, ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. Both diseases have periods of remission and relapse and are often inherited. It may be diagnosed at any age but is often diagnosed in early adulthood.

Inflammatory bowel disease varies tremendously in its degree of severity and can cause a variety of symptoms. These can include (amongst others) severe, explosive diarrhoea, abdominal cramps/discomfort, weight loss and blood in the motions. Suffering from these symptoms does not necessarily mean inflammatory bowel disease and, similarly, having inflammatory bowel disease does not necessarily mean that an ileostomy will have to be carried out – symptoms can be mild or sporadic and even the more severe symptoms can often be controlled by medicine.

Only in the more serious cases, where adults or children have suffered from severe and debilitating symptoms for some time, where physical problems dictate, or where emergency surgery becomes necessary will an ileostomy be considered.

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