Inflammatory Bowel Disease; a Group of Disorders That Cause Prolonged Inflammation of the Digestive Tract

by Glenn Maxwell

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used to describe disorders that involve chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are forms of inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn’s disease most commonly affects the colon and the last part of the small intestine. Ulcerative colitis only affects the colon. Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are characterized by weight loss, fatigue, diarrhea, abdominal pain, and rectal bleeding. IBD sometimes leads to life-threatening complications.

Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease vary depending on the severity of the inflammation and where it occurs. Symptoms may range from mild to severe. Pain and cramping are common with IBD, and can sometimes be severe. Individuals with inflammatory bowel disease often experience fatigue due to the immune response and disease-related malnutrition. Furthermore, people with IBD experience a low-grade fever of 99 to 100 degrees Fahrenheit. IBD symptoms come and go in episodes or flares.

Latest report available at Coherent Market Insights indicates that, global inflammatory bowel disease market is estimated to be valued at US$ 1,821.8 Mn in 2021, and is expected to exhibit a CAGR of 4.9 % over the forecast period (2021-2028).

Endoscopic procedures, such as capsule or upper endoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, and colonoscopy, are key to diagnose IBD as they provide clear and detailed views of the gastrointestinal tract. These procedures help doctors diagnose inflammatory bowel disease and differentiate between ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. IBD cannot be cured, but drugs can reduce inflammation and increase the number and length of periods of remission. Thus, with the rise in prevalence of IBD, the demand for safe/effective treatment is also increasing.

For example, according to Crohn’s & Colitis Foundation, Inflammatory bowel diseases affect more than 1.6 million people in the United States, most of whom are diagnosed before age 35. These chronic, life-long conditions can be treated but not cured. Anti-inflammatory drugs are often the first step in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease. Anti-inflammatories include corticosteroids and aminosalicylates, such as olsalazine (Dipentum), balsalazide (Colazal) and mesalamine (Asacol HD, Delzicol, others).

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