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What is IBD?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a medical condition where parts of the gastrointestinal tract become inflamed.

How many people are affected?

In Australia, at any one time, 360 in every 100,000 people have the condition, with about 30 cases per 100,000 people being diagnosed each year. A recent study suggested that around 71,000 individuals in Australia have IBD. The rates in Australia are second only to those in Canada.

When does IBD start?

IBD usually starts between the ages of 15 and 25, however there is often a delay between the start of IBD and a medical diagnosis. Many people live with symptoms for some time without being diagnosed. This can lead to months or even years of receiving the wrong treatment.

The symptoms of IBD tend to come and go, with symptoms sometimes disappearing for months or years. When attacks do occur hospitalisation is often necessary.

Types of IBD

IBD can be further broken down into two primary types:

  • Crohn's disease
  • Ulcerative colitis


If you are interested in other gastrointestinal-focused information and intervention websites developed and hosted at
Swinburne University of Technology,
please go to:

IBSclinic.org.au for individuals with Irritable Bowel Syndrome

Gastroparesisclinic.org for individuals with Gastroparesis


This website and its content is not intended or recommended as a substitute for medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek advice of your own physician or other qualified health care professional regarding any medical questions or conditions.

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