Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Everything You Want to Know

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The digestive tract comprises of the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and the intestines. They work together to break down food and perform normal digestive functions. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term to describe two conditions that cause inflammation of the gut — Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. This condition is characterized by long-term inflammation of the intestinal tract.

People of any age can suffer from inflammatory bowel disease, but usually, it occurs in people between the ages of 15 and 40. Usually, IBD treatment in Utah involves controlling inflammation and to restore normal digestive functions such as digestion and absorption.

What Causes IBD?

The exact cause of IBD is still unclear and unknown. However, doctors linked the condition to a combination of certain risk factors. These include genetics and an immune response problem in the body. The immune system can overreact, attacking the healthy cells in the body. In IBD, the immune cells attack the healthy cells of the intestinal lining, triggering inflammation.

IBD is hereditary and a person can develop this illness when a family member or relative has it. In some cases, people with overreact immune systems are prone to having IBD, and so is true with smokers.

Signs and Symptoms of IBD

IBD can have various signs and symptoms, depending on the severity and location of the inflammation. The most common signs and symptoms include bleeding ulcers, diarrhea, abdominal pain, bloating, anemia, and weight loss. In some cases, people with IBD can develop canker sores in the mouth, eye inflammation, arthritis, and skin disorders.

The Possible Complications of IBD

Young woman with stomach ache sitting on bed

IBD can lead to various complications since inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract alters the normal process of digestion. It can be painful, and it can even be potentially fatal. The possible complications include obstruction of the bowel, perforation or intestinal rupture, fistulas, colon cancer, malnutrition, and anemia. People with IBD can also go into shock if there is a severe attack of IBD, and it can be life-threatening. Urgent treatment is important for treatment to be initiated promptly.

Treating IBD

IBD is usually treated with diet and lifestyle changes, medicines, and in some cases, surgery. The most common goal of treatment is to prevent complications, prevent future bouts, and relieve inflammation and other symptoms.

The most commonly used drugs for IBD are anti-inflammatory medicines, such as corticosteroids. Some doctors may also prescribe immune suppressants to prevent the overreaction of the immune system from attacking the intestines and triggering inflammation.

Doctors may also recommend modifying one’s lifestyle choices, such as drinking lots of fluids to compensate for the loss of fluid lost during diarrhea bouts, exercising regularly, quitting smoking, eating healthy food choices, and avoiding stressful situations. In worse cases, the doctor may recommend the patient to undergo surgery.

Inflammatory bowel disease is a serious health condition since it can lead to a wide range of complications. It’s important to follow the instructions of doctors to prevent the condition from worsening. The condition can’t be prevented, especially if it’s hereditary but you can reduce the risk by living a healthy lifestyle.

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