Gut Inflammation: What Exactly is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

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People typically confuse inflammatory bowel disease or IBD with IBS or irritable bowel syndrome, but these are two separate conditions. IBD is actually a term used for various long-term diseases involving gut or digestive tract inflammation.

It is likewise considered more serious than IBS because when not treated properly, it could result in severe complications such as malnutrition and bowel damage.

Common Types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

These include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s could impact any part of your digestive system, from the mouth to the anus, but the areas usually affected include the last portion of the colon and the small intestine.

It can happen to people of all ages, but it most commonly occurs in people aged between 15 and 35. Ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, causes colon or large intestine inflammation. It comes in different classes depending on the severity and location of the inflammation.

Although these two IBD types are the most commonly known forms of inflammatory bowel disease, other kinds include collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis. If doctors can’t determine which form of IBD you have, you may be given a diagnosis of indeterminate colitis.

Causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

As of late, there’s still no known cause of IBD, and you should seek IBD treatment here in Lehi. The following are believed to play a significant role:

  • Genes – Studies have found links between certain gene mutations and IBD.
  • Immune Function – When the immune system responds abnormally to food particles, viruses, or bacteria, it can trigger inflammation in the digestive tract.
  • Viruses and bacteria – There’s research about the link between Crohn’s disease and enteroviruses and E.coli.
  • Environmental factors – These include diet, smoking, vaccines, oral contraceptives, antibiotics, and breastfeeding. The extent has yet to be determined.

Potential IBD Complications

Inflammatory bowel disease is associated with various complications, some of which are fatal. Possible ulcerative colitis complications include the following:

  • A tear or hole in your colon
  • Fulminant colitis, in which normal intestinal wall contractions halt temporarily
  • Toxic megacolon, in which trapped gas and inflammation could result in shock, septicemia, or colon rupture
  • Narrowing or strictures in your colon
  • Colon cancer

Possible Crohn’s disease complications include the following:

suffering from stomach ache

  • Colon cancer
  • Bowel obstruction
  • Malnutrition
  • Fistulas or atypical gut tunnels

Inflammatory is not curable. When you consult with a GI specialist in Lehi, you’ll find that the main goal of IBD treatment is to alleviate symptoms, attain remission, and prevent potential complications. IBD is most commonly treated with medications or surgical interventions.

Outlook for IBD

While a cure for inflammatory bowel disease has yet to be found, it could be managed using certain lifestyle changes and medical interventions. With early and proper treatment, approximately half of individuals with IBD will go into remission or experience mild symptoms for at least five years, and almost half of those in remission will not relapse in the following year.

Essentially, the longer you’re in remission, the smaller your chances of experiencing a flare next year. So if you’re noticing persistent changes in your bowel movements or IBD symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.