Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome

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Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome

Understanding Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome:

Inflammatory bowel syndrome (IBD) is an umbrella term that is used to describe a group of disorders which results in the intestines becoming inflamed, In most cases, medical studies suggest that this condition is a direct result of the body’s immune system attacking a harmless virus, bacteria or food in the gut, which causes inflammation, and in some cases, bowel injury.

There are two main types of this disorder:

  1. Ulcerative Colitis: Limited to the colon or large intestine.
  2. Crohn's Disease: Involving any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus.

Let’s look at this disorder in a little more detail.

Common Causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease:

There is no clear cause for IBD. In most cases, a combination of bacteria, viruses, antigens trigger the body's immune system. This leads to an inflammatory reaction in the intestinal tract. Medical studies have also indicated that a combination of hereditary, genetic, and/or environmental factors can also be a cause for IBD. In certain cases, the body's own tissue can also cause an autoimmune response. No matter what the cause, though, the result is a chain reaction that continues without control, and can result in significant damage to the body’s intestinal wall, leading to diarrhoea and abdominal pain.

Common Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease:

A patient suffering from IBD will typically see the condition flaring up at different periods of time, leading to symptoms, followed by periods of time when the symptoms decrease or disappear altogether. This signs of this disease range from mild to severe, and will typically depend on the part of the intestinal tract which is affected. Common signs of this disorder include:

  • Severe abdominal cramps and pain
  • Diarrhoea that may be bloody
  • Severe urgency to have a bowel movement
  • High fever
  • Weight loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Iron deficiency anaemia due to blood loss

Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease:

In most cases, treatment for IBD involves a combination of medical treatment and care that the patient can self-administer. It should be noted that no form of treatment should be attempted without the express direction of a medical professional.

Self-Administered Care:

  1. Dietary Changes: While there is no indicative proof to show that a specific diet can help treat IBD, dietary changes can help manage your symptoms. It is essential that you seek the help of your doctor about this, and make sure that the modified diet you need to follow has all the essential nutrients you need.
  2. Stress Management: Managing stress is essential, as this can aggravate your condition, if left unmanaged. 

Medical Treatment: When you seek medical aid, the main aim that your doctors will hold to will involve supressing the abnormal inflammatory response caused by this disorder. This will allow your intestinal tissue to heal. Due to the healing process, the symptoms of this disorder, which includes diarrhoea and abdominal pain, will also reduce.

Once the symptoms of this disorder are arrested, your doctor will focus on decreasing the flare-ups of IBD, and aim to completely suppress or do away with this condition. Thus, the treatment will typically begin with anti-inflammatory drugs, which can be taken orally, or administered via a rectal suppository or enema.

Your doctor may also suggest a course of anti-diarrheal agents, antispasmodics, and acid suppressants for symptom relief. None of these medications should be taken without the express permission of medical practitioner. Positive response to these forms of medication will result in your doctors prescribing a number of other drugs, which will work for either Ulcerative Colitis or Crohn's Disease.

Surgical Intervention: Depending on the cause of IBD, surgery may be a recommendation that is also made. Ulcerative colitis can be treated with surgery, as the disease is limited to the colon. However, surgery will not cure Crohn's disease, although some surgeries may be used. The form of surgery recommended will depend on the extent of your disease, your age and your overall health

The Apollo Clinic Experience:

At Apollo Clinic, our doctors are trained to accurately diagnose and treat the cause of inflammatory bowel disease. Our centres are prepared to diagnose your condition, using diagnostic protocols like stool exams, complete blood count and other blood tests, a Barium X-Ray and other radiologic tests.

In addition, our trained experts, during the diagnosis process, will run a complete array of technical medical tests where required, including a sigmoidoscopy, a colonoscopy, an upper endoscopy as well as a capsule endoscopy. If you believe that you are suffering from the symptoms of an inflammatory bowel disease, get in touch with one of our specialists immediately. 

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