Inflammatory Bowel Disease Overview
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) refers to a collection of intestinal disorders that results in long term inflammation of your digestive tract. It has been mistaken as an autoimmune disease in time past.
However, research and further studies have shown that this disease occurs when your immune system attacks the food, harmless bacteria or virus that reside in your digestive system. This will then cause inflammation or injury in your bowel.
There are two main types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease, which are Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis. While Ulcerative Colitis is the inflammation in the large intestine, Crohn’s disease is the inflammation of any location in the gut, commonly occurring at the colon, at the end of the small intestine or both parts.
Causes And Risk Factors Of Inflammatory Bowel Disease:
A specific cause of this disease is yet unknown. However, it is a known fact that disorder in the immune system is one possible cause. Your immune system which is meant to attack foreign bodies in your system begins to act up and starts attacking the cells of your digestive tract causing inflammation.
Some of the risk factors involved in this disease include:
- Family History: If you have a parent, siblings or any member of your family who suffers from this disease, your chances of having this disease increases.
- Age: Although Inflammatory Bowel Disease can happen at any age, the risk factor increases in people above the age of 35.
- Geographical Location: Studies have shown that people residing in urbanized locations have an increased risk of suffering from Inflammatory Bowel Disease. This is due to their increased consumption of processed foods which is in contrast to people that reside in rural areas.
- Gender: Studies have shown that Crohn’s disease is more prevalent in women while Ulcerative Colitis is more prevalent in men.
- Smoking: Smoking has been seen as a major risk factor in Crohn’s disease.
Symptoms Of Inflammatory Bowel Disease:
The symptoms of this disease vary from mild to severe. There are periods when there will be flare-ups causing the symptoms to increase which is followed by periods when the flare-ups reduce and symptoms go away with full restoration of health. During the flare-up periods the symptoms you will observe includes:
- Stomach cramping, pain and bloating which is caused by an obstruction in the bowels.
- Diarrhea and loose stool caused by the bowel’s inability to reabsorb fluid.
- Weight loss.
- Bloody stool is caused by bleeding ulcers in the intestine.
How Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease Diagnosed
As soon as you make a complaint about the symptoms, your doctor will ask you a few questions to have an insight into your family history and allergies. However, all of these can be made easy once you register with our cloud EMR called Sehat Cloud.
Every vital information will be uploaded on your patient portal with details such as allergies, medical and family histories provided. After this, a series of tests will be done to specify whether you are suffering from Crohn’s disease or Ulcerative Colitis.
These tests include:
- Blood and Stool sample test: This test is done to differentiate between the two types of Inflammatory bowel diseases.
- Barium X Rays.
- Upper Endoscopy.
- Capsule Endoscopy.
- Other test includes MRI scans, CT scans, and ultrasound scan.
Treatments Of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory Bowel Disease can be treated with medications such as immunosuppressants, laxatives, antidiarrheal and anti-inflammatory drugs. In addition to this, surgery can also be deployed in some cases depending on the severity. Subsequently, lifestyle and diet changes can also aid in the treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis can be alleviated with healthy feeding habits, abstinence from alcohol, cigarette and substance abuse as well as regular exercise routines.