An overview of inflammatory bowel disease
Intended for healthcare professionals

An overview of inflammatory bowel disease

Lisa Younge Inflammatory bowel disease nurse specialist, The Royal London Hospital, London, England

Why you should read this article:
  • To enhance your understanding of the symptoms, diagnosis and management of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

  • To recognise the similarities and differences between the two main conditions of IBD – Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis

  • To count towards revalidation as part of your 35 hours of CPD, or you may wish to write a reflective account (UK readers)

  • To contribute towards your professional development and local registration renewal requirements (non-UK readers)

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term that refers to two main conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It is a lifelong inflammatory disorder that affects the gastrointestinal tract. Managing IBD requires a multidisciplinary team approach, and specialist IBD nurses have an important role in this, providing education, support and advocacy to patients with IBD. This article provides an overview of the symptoms of Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis, as well as the medical, nutritional and surgical management strategies that can be used. It discusses the nurse’s role in management and the importance of using a multidisciplinary team approach to provide optimum patient care and support.

Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11265


Younge L (2018) An overview of inflammatory bowel disease. Nursing Standard. doi: 10.7748/ns.2018.e11265

Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software



Conflict of interest

None declared

Published online: 10 December 2018

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