Gastro-Esophageal Reflux Diseases

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

About Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term for two conditions that are characterized by chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Types of IBD include:

  • Ulcerative colitis.This condition causes long-lasting inflammation and sores (ulcers) in the innermost lining of your large intestine (colon) and rectum.
  • Crohn’s disease.This type of IBD is characterized by inflammation of the lining of your digestive tract, which often spreads deep into affected tissues.

Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease usually involve severe diarrhea, abdominal pain, fatigue and weight loss.

IBD can be debilitating and sometimes leads to life-threatening complications.

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

A person with IBD will generally go through periods in which the disease flares up and causes symptoms, followed by periods in which symptoms decrease or disappear and good health returns. Symptoms range from mild to severe and generally depend upon what part of the intestinal tract is involved.

Some of the common symptoms are :

  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea that may be bloody
  • The urgency to have a bowel movement
  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal Cramps and pains
  • Iron deficiency due to blood loss

Diagnosis of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

IBD is diagnosed using Colonoscopy (for Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis) and at times upper gi endoscopy for involvement of the upper GITract.  Imaging studies, such as contrast radiography, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), or computed tomography (CT). Physicians may also check stool samples to make sure symptoms are not being caused by an infection or run blood tests to help confirm the diagnosis.

Treatment of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

The goal of inflammatory bowel disease treatment is to reduce the inflammation that triggers your signs and symptoms. In the best cases, this may lead not only to symptom relief but also to long-term remission and reduced risks of complications. IBD treatment usually involves comprehensive treatment with drugs, immunomodulators, biologicals and at times surgery for specific narrowing of the small intestines like strictures or failure of medical treatment.