This is a chronic disease that occurs in two different forms: Crohns disease (or regional enteritis) and ulcerative colitis. The first symptoms usually occur before 30 years of age (between 12 and 24 years), but can affect people of any age.
First-degree relatives of people with inflammatory bowel disease have a 10-fold increased risk of developing the same disease.
Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are different in the type of lesion and its location. Crohn’s disease affects all the layers of the intestinal wall and is normally located in the last segment of the small intestine. The occurrence of fibrostenosis is high.
Ulcerative colitis affects the inner layer of the intestinal wall and is commonly located in the colon and rectum.
Inflammatory bowel disease results from the interaction of immune, genetic and environmental factors.
Polymorphisms in the genes involved in the immune defense (innate and acquired) against microorganisms present in the intestine affect its normal functioning.
Environmental factors (microorganisms, smoking and stress) together with genetic factors increase the risk of developing the disease.