Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology

Gastroenterology focusses on the diseases affecting the gastrointestinal tract including the organs from mouth to anus along the alimentary canal. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) such as ulcerative colitis (UC) and Crohn’s disease (CD) are chronic inflammatory diseases of the GI tract that are speculated to occur due to the interaction of genetic susceptibility, environmental factors and host immune response. It is highly prevalent in North America, United Kingdom and North Europe while in Asia the incidences and the prevalence have recently risen. This rise maybe attributed to development and prosperity leading to improved hygiene and variation in dietary habits. This pattern is now observed in Sri Lanka too as the country is transitioning to a better economic status causing a hike in non-communicable diseases and fall in poverty-related diseases. Only limited studies on epidemiology and clinical characteristics of IBD in Asian and developing countries are available urging the need for more studies. However, poor reporting, limited population-based data, non-uniform diagnostic criteria, and lack of awareness, poor resources and difficulty in differentiating IBD from intestinal infection affect information on IBD which is utilized to study the pathophysiology disease.