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Inflammatory Bowel Disease - Conditions of the Colon

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Bowel Disease

The intestines can develop problems or diseases, just as other organs in your body can. Inflammatory bowel disease or IBD for short, is a chronic disease  or disorder of the intestinal tract. IBD is more serious than another inflammatory bowel disease called IBS, or irritable bowel syndrome.

There are two major types of irritable bowel disease, Crohnís disease and ulcerative colitis. Both of these irritable bowel disorders can interfere with the natural absorption of essential nutrients from food. The result is general fatigue, weight loss, and a loss of appetite.

People with Crohnís disease commonly experience abdominal cramps or pain, diarrhea, fever, intestinal ulcers, and inflammation of other parts of the body. Crohnís disease most often occurs in the lower part of the small intestine where it connects to the colon.

The level of severity in chronic colon conditions differs for each individual. It can range from minor symptoms and hardly any discomfort all the way to more frequent diarrhea and severe intestinal pain. e second major type of IBD called ulcerative colitis, affects only the large intestine.

Like Crohnís disease, the most common symptoms are abdominal pain and bloody diarrhea, as well as fatigue, weight loss, nausea, and loss of appetite. Often, sufferers believe the problems are related to the stomach due to the pain. Other common ailments include inflammation of the joints, eye problems, and anemia due to blood loss.

There is a wide variety of diagnostic procedures used to make the appropriate diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease, including blood tests, barium studies, and colonoscopy. The colonoscopy allows the doctor to see any inflammation, bleeding, or ulcers that may be on the wall of the colon. Another procedure used to identify inflammatory bowel disease is an upper endoscopy. This procedure is used to view the esophagus, stomach, and upper small intestine. Samples may be removed for a biopsy that is helpful to further analyze the affected tissue.

The exact cause of inflammatory bowel disease is not known. It is believed that there may be a genetic link between relatives, and is most likely to occur during the late teen years and twenties. The best treatment for inflammatory bowel disease is a combination of therapies that have proven to be effective for many patients with the disorder. A special diet designed specifically to the special needs of the individual based on his or her symptoms is the first place to start.

Also, reducing stress and increasing rest and relaxation are helpful. Certain medications may also be prescribed to reduce inflammation and treat the possibility of bacterial infections. The last resort is surgery if symptoms are not controlled by medications and diet.

Living with inflammatory bowel disease IBD can be difficult at times, but not impossible to overcome. Following the doctor's advice and getting plenty of rest can go a long way in treating the disorder. A supportive health care professional and a positive attitude in addition to recommended treatments keep symptoms under control so a normal lifestyle can be maintained.


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