7 things to know about IBD for World IBD Day

May 19 is World IBD Day, which aims to raise awareness about inflammatory bowel diseases.

Here are seven things to know about IBD.

1. IBD includes Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis, which involve chronic gastrointestinal tract inflammation.

2. Both types of IBD usually involve severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss and fatigue, according to the Mayo Clinic.

3. In 2015, the CDC estimated 1.3 percent of U.S. adults — 3 million Americans — suffered from IBD. This chronic disease affects men and women about equally and there is currently no available cure.

4. Most IBD sufferers are diagnosed in their 20s and 30s. IBD is diagnosed using imaging studies, endoscopy for Crohn's disease and colonoscopy for ulcerative colitis. Physicians may also check stool samples to rule out infection or run blood tests to confirm the diagnosis.

5. Aminosalicylates, corticosteroids such as prednisone, immunomodulators, antibiotics and biologics may be used to treat IBD. In severe cases, IBD may require surgery to remove damaged portions of the gastrointestinal tract.

6. IBD is not irritable bowel syndrome, but patients with IBD can also have IBS, a disorder affecting intestinal function and behavior. Here is more information from the Crohn's and Colitis Foundation of America.

7. The American Gastroenterological Association recently established its IBD Parenthood Project Working Group to create a standardized treatment pathway for female patients with IBD.

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