Bowel inflammatory disease is made up of a combination of disorders that cause chronic pain and swelling in the intestines. Ulcerative colitis and Chron’s disease make up inflammatory bowel disease.
The two affect the digestive system. A person with inflammatory bowel disease can live a normal life if they can access treatment. Inflammatory bowel disease is a lifelong condition. Inflammatory bowel disease affects both genders and people of all ages.
However, it is more prevalent in people between the age of 15 and 30 years. Inflammatory bowel disease is usually accompanied by chronic intestinal inflammation. Common symptoms of this condition are gas, diarrhea, and stomach cramps.
People with inflammatory bowel disease can get treatment and surgery to help them when the disease flares. Surgery and drugs help keep it under control.
The main types of IBD are Chron’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Other types include:
It is important to note that inflammatory bowel disease is not the same as irritable bowel syndrome. The two are different and should not be confused. Inflammatory disease is a disease while irritable bowel syndrome is a group of symptoms.
The two also differ in terms of their treatments and causes. Since it is a gastrointestinal disease, it usually affects the functioning of the bowel whereby it causes them to contract a lot more often than usual.
Irritable bowel syndrome on the other hand can also be called spastic colon or nervous stomach. Unlike inflammatory bowel disease, irritable bowel syndrome does not cause inflammation of the small intestine nor does it damage the small intestine.
Inflammatory bowel syndrome cannot be detected by a scan. In addition, it is not a risk factor for colon cancer. Irritable bowel syndrome does not require one to be hospitalized as compared to inflammatory bowel disease.
It is also important to note that a person can suffer from irritable bowel syndrome and inflammatory bowel disease at the same time. When a person has inflammatory bowel disease, they experience symptoms similar to those of irritable bowel syndrome.
There are ongoing studies aimed at determining the causes of inflammatory bowel disease. However, there are factors that may lead to IBD. They are:
Symptoms of IBD come and go from time to time. Their severity ranges from mild to severe. additionally, symptoms of IBD may be gradual or may come suddenly. Common symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease are:
Rare symptoms of IBD are:
Inflammatory bowel disease is a major risk factor for colon or colorectal cancer. Complications that may arise from inflammatory bowel disease are:
Inflammatory bowel disease cannot be diagnosed using a single test. Diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease is done by first elaborating on your symptoms. The first tests that can be done are a stool test and a complete blood count.
A stool test helps the doctor to identify any signs of inflamed intestines. Additional diagnostic tests include:
The type of treatment method used to treat inflammatory bowel disease depends on the symptoms and the type of IBD. Several medications are given to control IBD. These medications include:
Over the counter drugs that are given to treat IBD are:
Most of the people with Chron’s disease will eventually require surgery because medications no longer relieve them of the symptoms. When doing a bowel resection, the surgeon will remove the segment of the bowel that has the disease and connect the two ends of the healthy bowel.
Once the surgery is complete, the healthy bowel that remained continues to function as it used to. Chron’s disease usually recurs after 10 years in more than half the people who undergo surgery. If this happens, it is recommended for a person to undergo a bowel resection.
People with ulcerative colitis will eventually need surgery. Surgery in ulcerative colitis involves:
An ileostomy bag may also be needed though it is rare. This bag is usually attached to the outside of the body so that it collects stool. Proctocolectomy may cure the disease. Proctocolectomy ensures symptoms do not recur. However, with ileostomy, there might be a few issues.
Complications that are likely to arise are:
There is no guaranteed way of preventing inflammatory bowel disease. However, certain changes in diet and lifestyle can help control symptoms of IBD. These are:
A lot of people with inflammatory bowel disease can still enjoy an active life. However, symptoms of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can entirely disrupt a person’s life. After taking medications, some people with IBD may not experience symptoms, a situation known as remission.
Severe flares of inflammatory bowel disease symptoms may need surgery. Doctors often suggest lifestyle and dietary changes that can help manage the disease.
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