Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term mainly used to describe two conditions, ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease.

Both Ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease are long-term (chronic) conditions that involve inflammation of the gut (gastrointestinal tract).

Ulcerative colitis only affects the colon (large intestine), while Crohns disease can affect all of the digestive system, from the mouth to the anus.

Its sometimes difficult to tell the difference between the two main types of IBD. If this is the case, its known as indeterminate colitis.

There are other, less common types of IBD called collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis. The inflammation can only be seen using a microscope, and so theyre known as microscopic colitis.

Content supplied by the NHS Website

Medically Reviewed by a doctor on 8 Aug 2016