Written from a patient's perspective, this book provides timely information about how to obtain and maintain the highest quality of life possible while living with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis--together known as inflammatory bowel disease--are chronic illnesses of unknown origin. The inflammation within the intestinal tract (within the colon in ulcerative colitis, and anywhere from the mouth to the anus in Crohn disease) leads to some or all of the following clinical symptoms--diarrhea (with or without blood), abdominal pain, fever, and fatigue. The disease is characterized by periods of flare up and remission. Some individuals, especially those who have ulcerative colitis, may have one acute episode in their lifetime. But most IBD sufferers have recurrent periods of illness. Even in the absence of clinical symptoms, there is usually radiological and laboratory evidence of the disease. Current medical treatments reduce symptoms, but do not cure either disease. Because of the unpredictable nature of the disease process, quality of life is severely impaired, expecially for the sickest individuals. Besides providing basic information, this book describes various medical, surgical, nutritional, and even spiritual treatments. Its aim is to help those who are afflicted with IBD, as well as their families, to improve and maintain the highest possible quality of life. Jon Zonderman is a medical writer and a freelance journalist. He is the author of Beyond the Crime Lab: The New Science of Investigation, as well as a number of books for children and young adults. Ronald S. Vender, M. D., is the chief of gastroenterology at the Hospital of St. Raphael in New Haven, Conn., and Clinical Associate Professor of Gastroenterology at the Yale University School of Medicine. Zonderman has been under Vender's care for eleven years.