Hippocrates said "all diseases begin in the gut", but we believe that all health begins in the gut, too.

What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) refers to a group of intestinal disorders that cause protracted inflammation of the digestive tract which includes the mouth, oesophagus, stomach, small intestine, and large intestine. This upsets the normal functioning of the digestive tract of breaking down food, extracting the nutrients, and removing waste products.

Possible Causes: 

Inflammatory bowel diseases or IBD refers to

  • ulcerative colitis, which causes inflammation and sores in your colon and rectum
  • Crohn's disease which causes swelling in the lining of your digestive tract.

Possible inflammatory bowel diseases causes are: 

  • Malfunction of your immune system, which means an abnormal immune response causing the immune system to attack the cells in the digestive tract, while fighting an invading virus.
  • Family members having the disease.
  • Having inflammatory bowel diseases increases your risk of colon cancer, arthritis, skin lesions and eye inflammation, blood clots in your veins and even sclerosing cholangitis. Crohn's disease causes bowel obstruction, malnutrition, ulcers, fistulas, and anal fissure. Ulcerative colitis may include toxic megacolon and severe dehydration.

Risk Factors: 

  • People up to 30 years of age appear to be the most likely candidates of inflammatory bowel diseases.
  • Race or ethnicity.
  • Family history.
  • Smoking.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications.
  • Environmental factors, including a diet high in fat or refined foods.

Signs & Symptoms: 

Inflammatory bowel disease symptoms range from mild to severe depending on the location of the inflammation. Some signs and symptoms that are common to both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis:

  • Diarrhoea with urgency.
  • Fever and fatigue.
  • Stomach pain and cramps.
  • Blood in your stool.
  • Reduced appetite, weight loss and anaemia.

Diagnosis: 

At Medcare, you can get thorough diagnostics and specialist advice to establish whether you suffer from inflammatory bowel disease and what are the underlying causes:

  • Stool examination for checking of traces of blood that help decide if your infection is bacterial, viral, or parasitic.
  • A blood test with complete blood count, electrolytes, ESR and CRP to understand severity of the disease.
  • Barium X-ray. 
  • Other tests like CT scan, MRI and ultrasound.
  • For a more thorough investigation our specialists may recommend a sigmoidoscope, colonoscopy upper endoscopy or capsule endoscopy.

Treatment Options: 

  • To begin with, our gastroenterologist recommends that you make dietary modifications along with management of stress.
  • This is followed by medications that control the inflammatory reaction so that your intestinal tissue gets time to heal.
  • Stronger medication includes steroids and immune modifying agents.
  • Surgery is available for people with ulcerative colitis depending on the stage of your disease, your age and general health. Some surgical options are:
  • Proctocolectomy - which entails the removal of the entire colon and rectum.
  • Ileoanal anastomosis in which only the colon is removed.
FAQs: الأسئلة الشائعة:
  • Is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) the same thing as irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)?

    A: No they’re quite different. IBS is a functional disorder which causes discomfort and pain but is not a serious condition. Inflammatory bowel disease causes inflammation, ulcers and damage to the bowel.

  • My inflammatory bowel disease prescription requires me to take medications even when I feel well. Why is this necessary?

    A: Your inflammatory bowel disease treatment may need you to take maintenance medications that reduce the episodes of flaring up. Some medications need to be taken so that antibodies don’t develop against the medicine. If these antibodies are allowed to develop, they can cause an allergic reaction and reduce the efficacy of the treatment.

  • Is my inflammatory bowel disease caused by stress?

    A: While the connection between stress and inflammatory bowel diseases has not been proven conclusively, there is increasing evidence that stress aggravates any chronic condition. If you feel highly stressed, then do focus on stress management, in addition to managing your inflammatory bowel disease.

  • What dietary precautions should I follow?

    A: First and foremost, keep a food diary to track what foods cause an increase in your symptoms. Reduce the intake of dairy products, raw fruits and raw vegetables. Avoid fatty, fried and spicy foods, alcohol and caffeine as these may make your signs and symptoms worse, so are not recommended in an irritable bowel disease diet.

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