Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): The Symptoms And What To Do

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)_ The Symptoms And What To Do

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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): The Symptoms And What To Do

Inflammatory Bowel disease is a generalised term for conditions that are characterised by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

When the immune system functions correctly it attacks organisms such as bacteria or viruses to protect the body. IBD is the result of a defective immune system, responding to environmental triggers which cause inflammation and damage to the intestines.

Inflammatory bowel disease is not a progressive condition, and does not necessarily get worse over time. Severity of symptoms vary from time to time and person to person.

Flare-ups of symptoms often seesaw from mild to severe and back to mild again, while others may experience quite long periods of remission. Sometimes months or even years elapse between flare-ups.

IBD interferes with the body’s normal functions. When the disease is medicated to control inflammation, most people are able to perform normally. If left untreated it can be debilitating and sometimes lead to serious complications.

The treatment goal for Inflammatory Bowel Disease is to control inflammation, relieve symptoms and correct nutritional deficiencies.

Risk Factors Of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD can be diagnosed at any age, however most people who develop inflammatory bowel disease do so before the age of 30, although some don’t contract the disease until their 50’s or 60’s.

Studies have shown that the risk of developing the condition is higher for people who have a close relative, such as a parent, sibling or child with IBD.
Some non-steroid inflammatory medications that may increase the risk of contracting inflammatory bowel disease are ibuprofen, naproxen sodium, and diclofenac sodium.

Crohn’s Disease and Ulcerated Colitis

Two of the most common and identifiable of inflammatory bowel disease are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis.


Ulcerative colitis differs from Crohn’s disease in that the inflammation is confined to the upper layers of the intestinal lining, whereas Crohn’s disease causes inflammation throughout the whole thickness of the intestinal wall. Symptoms and treatments are similar for both diseases.

Symptoms Common to Both

Symptoms common to both Crohn’s disease and ulcerated colitis
include diarrhea, fever and fatigue, abdominal pain and cramps, blood and mucus in the stool, decreased appetite, weight loss, nausea and impaired growth in children.

Complications Common To Both

During periods of flare-ups for both diseases, there is an increased risk of developing inflammation of the eyes and skin lesions, and other disorders including arthritis. IBD also increases the risk of blood clots.

Side effects of some medications prescribed for inflammatory bowel disease may pose a small risk of developing high blood pressure and osteoporosis.

Complications Of Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease can cause parts of the bowel wall to thicken and narrow over time. When this occurs, the flow of digestive content is blocked. In some cases surgery is required to remove the diseased section of the bowel.

Because Crohn’s disease causes a vitamin B12 deficiency, it is common for sufferers of the disease to develop anemia. The effect on the body of diarrhea, abdomen pain and cramps make it difficult to eat. Malnutrition can occur when the intestine is unable to absorb enough nutrients to provide adequate nourishment.

Chronic inflammation often leads to ulcers anywhere in the digestive tract, including the mouth, the anus and also the genital area.

Complications Of Ulcerative Colitis Disease

A complication of ulcerative colitis disease is the enlargement and dilation of part of the colon. This is associated with severe and intractable constipation, and is a serious disorder known as toxic megacolon.

Dehydration can also become a problem for people with this disease because of the sometimes excessive diarrhea caused by the disorder.


Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)_ The Symptoms And What To Do
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)_ The Symptoms And What To Do

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