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Causes and risk factors of Inflamatory Bowel Disease
Reading time: 1 min
Although the exact cause of the disease is still unknown, we do know that different factors are involved in its development:
IBD is not a hereditary disease, but it does appear in people with a genetic predisposition, in whom interactions with different environmental factors (infections, tobacco, etc.) trigger an abnormal immune response which persists over time.
Various germs have been connected to the development of inflammatory bowel disease, but none have been confirmed as its cause. Antigens, substances that induce an immune response and which are found in the intestinal lumen (passageways), are believed to be the cause of inflammation of the bowels.
Can it affect other parts of the body?
Some patients experience symptoms in parts of the body which are unrelated to the digestive tract. These symptoms can include joint pain (arthritis), skin lesions, eye inflammation (uveitis), mouth ulcers, liver disease and gallstones or kidney stones, amongst others. Some of these problems tend to improve when the condition’s symptoms subside, but they sometimes require specific medication.
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Substantiated information by:
Ingrid Ordas JimenezGastroenterologistGastroenterology Department
Marta Gallego BarreroNurseGastroenterology Department
Published: 20 February 2018
Updated: 4 September 2020
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