Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is swelling and irritation of the intestines. Two forms of IBD are:

IBD is a lifelong illness.

The exact cause of IBD is not known. Some believe IBD may be the result of:

  • Inherited genetics—may be a family history of IBD
  • Reaction to a virus or bacteria that damages the colon and rectum
  • Compromised immune system or infection that affects the immune system