Inflammatory bowel disease is a general term for a group of chronic - inflammatory disorders of the bowel. It is divided into 2 major categories Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis.


  1. Inflammatory bowel disease occurs at any age from 15 – 55

  2. Females are more effected than males

  3. Caucasians develop it 2 – 5 times more than other ethnicities

  4. Jewish people have a 3 – 6 fold higher incidence

  5. Genetic predisposition – multiple family members have Crohn’s or UC

  6. Infectious etiology – host micro flora, bacterial, viral, mycobacteria and fungus present in the system. One study showed that Candida albicans was the most frequently isolated fungal species in patients with inflammatory bowel disease

  7. Fecal examination strongly suggests that patients with inflammatory bowel disease have different bacterial flora, and the disease has been linked to several different strains of bacterial flora, including Bacteriodes, Enterobacteriaceae, and Helicobacter pylori species

  8. Antibiotics – have been linked to Crohn’s disease. The annual increase in antibiotic prescriptions such as Penicillin and Tetracycline since the 50’s, parallels the increase in annual incidence in Crohns’s disease

  9. Immune mechanisms – immunologic derangements are probably secondary to the disease process

  10. Dietary factors – most important etiologically especially food allergies and food intolerances

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