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All You Need to Know about Inflammatory Bowel Diseases
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a common medical condition with no known cause
- Symptoms include: pain, rectal bleeding, fever and loss of appetite
- To help IBD,you should drink plenty of water and eat a diet high in nutrients. Prescription medicines help to reduce any inflammation
Inflammatory Bowel Disease, also called IBD for short, is a very common medical condition. There are three main diseases that may be included in an IBD diagnosis, and this is Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Pouchitis. These diseases affect the digestive tract, and can cause a number of symptoms and extreme discomfort at times. Inflammatory Bowel Diseases all have the same symptoms, but there are differences in the the way your digestive tract is affected according to the specific Inflammatory Bowel Diseases you have. More than a million Americans suffer from IBD, and there is help available. Just because you have these diseases does not mean that with some changes you can not live a normal and full life.
What Causes Inflammatory Bowel Diseases?
It is not known yet by medical science exactly what the causes of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases are. There are differing opinions among doctors and scientists about possible causes, and some blame stress, poor diet and nutrition, fast paced living, not enough exercise, and every other aspect of living that could possibly contribute to these diseases. Since the cause is not known, there is no specific way to prevent these diseases from happening, but you can take steps to eat a healthy diet full of fiber and nutrients, drink plenty of water and fluids, and get enough exercise and sleep. You can also minimize stress if possible. Even if these factors do not contribute to the cause of Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, they will make your body healthier, so that fewer problems do occur.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Symptoms
The symptoms of all three Inflammatory Bowel Diseases are pretty much the same. With ulcerative colitis and pouchitis, the inflammation does not affect the outer layers of tissue, but in Crohn’s disease it does. Symptoms of all three diseases can include abdominal pain, diarrhea, vomiting, rectal bleeding, fever, dehydration, and a loss of appetite.
How Inflammatory Bowel Disease Is Diagnosed
If your doctor suspects you have any of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, you may have to have some diagnostic tests done to confirm the diagnosis and determine the extent of the problem and the right treatment plan. You may have blood drawn and lab work done. These labs may include a CBC, liver panel, stool sample tests, antibody tests, and other lab work as determined by your doctor. An x-ray may be taken, with and without contrast dye, and a CT scan and MRI scan may be ordered as well. Your doctor may also order a white blood cell scan and an ultrasound.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatments
There is no cure for any of the Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, but treatments can help minimize the frequency and severity of the symptoms. These diseases are known to flare up and then die back down. Your doctor may prescribe a number of medications and treatments to help put these diseases into remission, so you are as symptom free as possible. Sulfa drugs can kill off any bacteria that is contributing to the flare up, and corticosteroids will minimize the inflammation and help your bowels heal faster. Immunosuppressive drugs may also be given, to keep your body and immune system from attacking your bowels. Sometimes drugs known as 5-Aminosalicylates may be given, and there is a drug called Remicade that has shown promise in clinical trials and studies. Discuss your disease with your doctor, and together you can come up with a treatment plan that can help give you your life back. There is no cure for Inflammatory Bowel Diseases, but treatments can be very effective in minimizing the symptoms. Surgery may be a treatment option if all other treatments have not worked, but this option is a drastic last measure.
The information supplied in this article is not to be considered as medical advice and is for educational purposes only.
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