The chronic, unpredictability of inflammatory bowel disease makes it difficult for patients to cope. In fact several studies quoted by Cox (1995) found that the Majority of IBD patients, even the one's who considered themselves "well," experienced some impairment in quality of life. Early detection of IBD is essential in developing patient confidence and providing motivation for cooperation in treatment. Irvine (1997) conducted a study dealing with the quality of life issues with IBD and concluded that despite impairments, most patients with IBD overcame the obstacles imposed by their illness and managed to remain productive members of society. Similar management (with anti-inflammatory drugs) makes differentiating between Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis during the early stages of the disease, unnecessary. Situations that require differentiation include: right sided pain or tenderness, steatorrhea, nutritional deficiencies, or a palpable mass (Macrae & Bhathal, 1997). Although IBD continues to be of unknown etiology, recent advances and further study in the areas of the immune system, genetics and environmental influences may provide helpful treatment options in the future. For now, the clinician/patient goal must be to maintain adequate nutrition, promote healing, treat complications, and maintain an optimal lifestyle.