Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) are characterized by chronic inflammation of the intestinal mucosa and unknown etiology. In this review, we identified three main eras in the IBD history. Between the 19th and the 20th century, the primary task had been the definition of the diagnostic criteria in order to differentiate the new entity from intestinal tuberculosis. In the 20th century, an intense and prolific therapeutic research prevailed, culminating in the introduction of biological drugs in the clinical setting. Since the beginning of the 21st century, traditional definition criteria have been challenged by holistic criteria in an effort to seek a still unattained cure. Centuries of worldwide efforts on IBD etiology and therapy search have culminated in this novel strategy.
Keywords: bowel; inflammation; inflammatory bowel disease; interactome; therapy; ulcerative colitis.