Advertisement

Can inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affect other parts of my body?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) can cause a number of problems outside of the digestive tract.

  • Anemia: red blood cells, which carry oxygen to organs, is below normal. This can make a person feel very tired.
  • Arthritis and joint pain
  • Weak bones and bone breaks
  • Inflammation in the eye and other eye problems
  • Liver inflammation
  • Gallstones
  • Red bumps or ulcers on the skin
  • Kidney stones
  • Delayed puberty and growth problems (in children and teens)
  • In rare cases, lung problems

Some of these problems are caused by poor absorption of nutrients. Others are due to inflammation in parts of the body other than the digestive tract.

Inflammatory bowel disease, as well as the surgery and medicines used to treat it, can also affect your sex life. Sometimes, you may just feel too tired to have sex. You may also have emotional issues related to the disease. Even though it may be embarrassing, it is important to talk to your doctor if you are having sexual problems.

Some women with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) feel worse right before and during their menstrual periods as well. Diarrhea, abdominal pain, and other symptoms can be more severe during these times. Women with IBD and their doctors should keep track of these monthly changes in symptoms. This will prevent over treating the disease.

This answer is based on source information from the National Women's Health Information Center.

Continue Learning about Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Tips for Coping with the Infodemic When You Have IBD
Tips for Coping with the Infodemic When You Have IBD
One of the challenges of living in the new normal of the COVID-19 pandemic is the overwhelming amount of information. At various times during the pand...
Read More
Lacking Vitamin D? Low Levels May Boost Cancer Risk in IBD Sufferers
Lacking Vitamin D? Low Levels May Boost Cancer Risk in IBD Sufferers
If you've had inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) for a while, you probably already know your risk for colorectal cancer is higher than average. Frequent...
Read More
Lifestyle Changes to Help Manage Ulcerative Colitis
Lifestyle Changes to Help Manage Ulcerative ColitisLifestyle Changes to Help Manage Ulcerative ColitisLifestyle Changes to Help Manage Ulcerative ColitisLifestyle Changes to Help Manage Ulcerative Colitis
Strategies to help you reduce inflammation, avoid flares, and stay healthy. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a growing problem in the United State...
Start Slideshow
What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?
What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

Important: This content reflects information from various individuals and organizations and may offer alternative or opposing points of view. It should not be used for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. As always, you should consult with your healthcare provider about your specific health needs.