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What Are Extraintestinal Manifestations of IBD?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease is a systemic disease – it is not limited to just one area of the body (the digestive system) but can affect nearly every organ system in the body. 

Extra + Intestinal + Manifestation

What are extraintestinal manifestations (EIMs)? Extraintestinal manifestations is a term used to describe what I just said up above. IBD is a systemic disease involving nearly every organ system in the body. Extraintestinal manifestations are those complications of IBD that show up in other areas of your body, outside of how IBD affects the digestive tract. 

Think of them as all the “extras” that may come with having Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. In addition to the digestive tract a person with IBD may have problems with their eyes, skin, joints, mouth, liver, and so on. These are the “extras” that may come along with having IBD. For example: many people with IBD experience joint pain and/or arthritis. These manifestations are ‘extraintestinal’ because they occur outside of the intestines. 

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