Inflammatory bowel disease is a name used to collectively describe a group of ailments causing inflammation of the intestines.
Types of Bowel Disease
The cause of IBD is not entirely known but several different issues can be attributed to the disease. Crohn’s disease and Ulcerative Colitis are two of the major digestive disorders categorized under the term bowel disease. Most common among Caucasians and rising in highly populated regions such as the United Kingdom, IBD is more prevalent if you have a family history of it. Considered chronic and non-curable, this digestive disease affects the small and/or large intestines (also known as the colon). While IBD cannot be eliminated through medication or surgery, the disease can be managed so its impact is reduced.
Diarrhea is the most common symptom of bowel malfunction. Other symptoms include rectal bleeding, severe abdominal cramping, and weight loss. Not only can these symptoms occur regularly but they can affect your ability to lead a normal and productive life. This disease can also be detrimental to your emotional health because it hinders being going out and being active. Bowel diseases typically present in people between the mid to late teens and the mid-thirties.
IBS and IBD
Many people try to diagnose themselves with Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) incorrectly and never see a doctor until it becomes critical. This can result in missing a vital condition such as colon cancer or IBD (Inflammatory Bowel Disease). Self-diagnosis can be a dangerous thing so talking to a medical professional is important regardless of how much information you’ve read in magazines or the Internet. Some digestive conditions mimic one another and they require closer examination for a qualified diagnosis.
The process of confirming IBD is a complex one including many tests to rule out other conditions and the process can take a considerable amount of time. However, it’s important to conduct this process to determine what is happening within your body and discover if you possess specific triggers or factors leading to the inflammation. You may need a colonoscopy, a sigmoidoscopy, a barium enema, or blood tests, and you may need to provide stool samples to determine the exact cause in your situation.
IBD is mild for some sufferers but poses serious health threats for others. While Irritable Bowel Syndrome is more of a lifelong nuisance causing discomfort, it doesn’t permanently damage your digestive system. Inflammatory Bowel Disease, on the other hand, can cause permanent damage and thus bestow a heavy blow to your health.
The causes for these diseases are not fully understood but certain environmental factors, following a sedentary lifestyle, or maintaining a poor diet can increase the likelihood of contracting bowel disease. Scientists are continuously researching the triggers of both IBS and IBD as well as evaluating advanced treatment options.
Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease
Many doctors believe problems with your immune system being overactive or malfunctioning contribute to the growth of ulcers and fistulas.
Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s Disease present similar symptoms so it can be quite difficult to ascertain if you bowel disease relates to either of them. Crohn’s can occur anywhere within the human colon system whereas UC takes place only within the colorectal area.
Treating Bowel Diseases
To treat IBD, special diets can help maintain nourishment since malnutrition is a side effect of bowel disease. Malabsorption is a serious side effect of Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn’s disease for example. The lack of vitamins and nutrients could result in other health problems such as Osteoporosis unless you maintain a strict regimen of vitamin supplementation. Anyone who is diagnosed with a digestive disease needs to proactively manage their health to keep the condition under control.
Many people find tweaking their lifestyles by improving diet and activity levels can reduce symptoms and flare-ups. Eating fewer fatty, “gas producing,” and spicy foods and shifting to smaller, more frequent meals can be helpful. Exercise also provides numerous benefits for IBD sufferers. Healthy eating habits play an important role in vitality whether you have a digestive condition or not, but it certainly makes sense to improve nutrition when anything impairs your body’s normal digestive efficiency.