According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), approximately 3 million Americans were afflicted with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) during 2015. In fact, the number of IBD patients has increased significantly over the past 20 years or so. This condition can result in severe changes in bowel habits and make it challenging to plan day-to-day activities. Fortunately, there are several treatment options for those afflicted with Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
What is IBD?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease or IBD is a term used to describe any condition that results in the chronic, long-term inflammation of your digestive tract. In particular, two disorders that may fall into this category are ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. IBD can lead to long-lasting inflammation or ulcers in the digestive tract and tends to develop gradually over time.
What Are The Common Symptoms?
Some of the most common symptoms of IBD are similar to that of Irritable Bowel Syndrome or IBS. These include abdominal pain, abdominal tenderness, nausea, gas, diarrhea and/or constipation, mucus in the stool. However, there are also some unique symptoms such as:
- Severe abdominal pain or cramping
- Bloody or very dark stool
- A sudden need to defecate.
- Rectal pain or bleeding
- Anemia due to the rectal blood loss
- Unexplained weight loss
- Joint pain
- Low-grade fever of unknown origin
- Unexplained rashes
How Is IBD Treated?
In most cases, the goal of IBD treatment is to relieve the inflammation that triggers your symptoms. This is often done through medication, surgery, or a combination of the two. Some changes in diet may also be necessary, particularly if certain foods tend to trigger your condition. Nutrition given intravenously or through a feeding tube can provide sustenance while allowing your bowels to rest. This is sometimes performed as an alternative to surgery.