Inflammatory bowel disease
2 mins read

Inflammatory bowel disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term for two conditions (Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis) that are characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. 

Prolonged inflammation results in damage to the GI tract.

Is it IBD different from IBS ?

  • Yes , the two diseases are quite different .While  diarrhea is present in both weight loss is seen in IBD and not in IBS
  • Bleeding is not seen in IBS but is seen in IBD
  • Extraintestinal manifestations like joint pain, eye involvement , itching SKIN involvement is not seen in IBS
  • IBS troubles but doesn’t lead to cancer
  • IBD can lead to fistulisation
  • IBD patients may need surgery in the course of illness while IBS doesn’t lead to complications click to read IBS further  

What are the common symptoms of IBD?

  • Persistent diarrhea.
  • Abdominal pain.
  • Rectal bleeding/bloody stools.
  • Weight loss.
  • Fatigue.

What causes  IBD?

      The exact cause of IBD is unknown, It is postulated that it could be due to  the result of a weakened immune system. Possible causes are:

  • In a genetically predisposed person  immune system responds incorrectly to environmental triggers, such as a virus or bacteria, which causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
  • There also appears to be a genetic component. Someone with a family of  history of IBD is more likely to develop this inappropriate immune response.

How is IBD diagnosed?

  • A combination of endoscopy (for Crohn’s disease) or colonoscopy (for ulcerative colitis) and imaging studies, such as:
    • Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) of small bowel
    • Computed tomography (CT).
  • Stool samples. like fecal calprotectin 
  • Blood tests. which suggest inflammation like CRP 
  • The patient may develop low hemoglobin
  • The patient can have various extra intestinal manifestations like joint pains , eye involvement or deranged liver function tests

How is IBD treated?

  • Types of common medications to treat IBD:
    • 5-aminosalicyclic acids.
    • Immunomodulators.
    • Corticosteroids.
    • Biologics.
  • With newer modalities of treatment the disease can be controlled nicely
  • Consult your doctor for details

Do these patients require surgery ?

  • The patients with severe colitis may require surgery 
  • The patient with Crohn’s disease may develop fever , pain abdomen and may require drainage of abscesses
  • Crohn’s disease patients can develop fistulas which may require surgery

 

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