Home » Conditions » Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a general term to describe inflammation in your digestive tract. IBD can be categorized into two similar but distinct diseases:
Crohn’s Disease is typically found at the end of the small intestine, the beginning of the colon, and may affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus. Ulcerative colitis is limited to the colon.
Also, Crohn’s Disease can affect the entirety of the bowel wall, while ulcerative colitis only involves the inner lining of the colon.
The cause of inflammatory bowel disease is typically characterized as an immune system malfunction. When your body activates your immune system to fight a virus or bacteria an abnormal immune response can attack the cells in the digestive system as well. As a result, parts of the small intestine and colon become inflamed. IBD can also be passed down from parent to child.
Risk Factors of IBD include:
Symptoms of IBD will vary depending on the disease and the severity. The common symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease include:
You should contact your nearest gastroenterologist if you experience any persistent change in bowel habits, or have any combination of the above symptoms that worry you.
IBD can be diagnosed through different techniques, decided upon by your doctor depending on your symptoms.
A colonoscopy or endoscopy is commonly used to detect IBD. Sometimes, other imaging procedures will be done, such as X-ray, CT, or MRI.
The primary goal of treatment is to reduce the inflammation in your digestive tract in order to eliminate or reduce symptoms. Treatment could eventually lead to long-term remission of IBD. Treatments for IBD include:
Inflammatory bowel disease is not a fatal disease. However, if left unmanaged and untreated, over time, a person with IBD can develop complications that can be fatal. Additionally, leaving IBD untreated can lead to increased risk of colon cancer. There are several clinical trials to help manage the symptoms and improve the lives of those living with IBD.
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