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Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a group of intestinal disorders that cause prolonged inflammation of the digestive tract.

The mouth, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, and big intestine constitute the digestive tract. It is responsible for food breakdown, nutrient extraction and elimination of any unusable materials and waste products.

This natural phase is disrupted by inflammation anywhere in the digestive tract. IBD may be extremely painful and disruptive and may even be life-threatening in some situations.

What is IBD?

The term inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) describes a group of disorders in which the intestines are inflamed. It has also been regarded as an autoimmune disease, but evidence shows that chronic inflammation might not be due to the body itself being targeted by the immune system. Instead, it is a result of the attack of a harmless virus, bacteria, or food in the gut by the immune system, causing inflammation that results in bowel injury.


Types of IBD

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella word used to describe conditions that include chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Types of IBD include:


Ulcerative colitis is limited to the large intestine or colon.

On the other hand, Crohn's disease may include any portion of the gastrointestinal tract, from the mouth to the anus. Most often, however, the last part of the small intestine or the colon or both are affected.


Causes of IBD

IBD is a disease with a cause that is unclear. In the intestinal tract, any agent or a mixture of agents (bacteria, viruses, antigens) activates the immune system of the body to create an inflammatory reaction. Recent studies indicate that the development of IBD can be caused by a combination of hereditary, genetic, and/or environmental factors. It may also be that an autoimmune reaction is triggered by the body's own tissue. Whatever triggers it, without regulation, the reaction persists and damages the intestinal wall, resulting in diarrhea and abdominal pain.


Symptoms of IBD

Depending on the severity of inflammation and where it occurs, inflammatory bowel disease symptoms differ. There may be symptoms ranging from mild to extreme. You are likely to have active disease cycles accompanied by recovery periods.

Signs and signs that are present in both Crohn's and ulcerative colitis include the following:

  • Anemia

  • Blood in your stool

  • Diarrhea

  • Fever and fatigue

  • Reduced appetite

  • Stomach pain and cramping

  • Weight loss

Treatments for IBD

There are a number of different treatments for IBD.

  • Medications The first step in IBD treatment is anti-inflammatory drugs. These medications minimize inflammation of the digestive tract. However, they have a lot of side effects.

  • Lifestyle choices When you have IBD, lifestyle choices are important. Drinking plenty of water helps make up for the ones lost in your stool. Symptoms are often improved by avoiding dairy products and stressful conditions. Your health can be further improved by exercising and stopping smoking.

  • Supplements Supplements with vitamins and minerals can help with nutritional deficiencies. Iron supplements, for instance, can cure anemia. Before adding some new supplements to your diet, speak to your doctor.

  • Surgery Surgery can sometimes be necessary for people with IBD.


Prevention

It is difficult to prevent the hereditary causes of IBD. You can, however, be able to reduce the risk of IBD development or avoid a relapse by:

  • Eat healthy foods

  • Exercise regularly

  • Stop smoking

IBD may cause some discomfort, but there are ways you can manage the disease and live a healthy , active lifestyle.

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