After experiencing months of issues with gut pains, nausea/vomiting and other worrying symptoms, you went to the doctor, who reported back to you with a rather scary-sounding diagnosis – inflammatory bowel disease.
A blanket term for conditions such as Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative colitis, these disorders are the result of the immune system attacking the intestines, colon and rectum.
This results in a host of painful symptoms that can make life an unbearable burden for those affected by the symptoms resulting from this constant friendly fire from their own body.
In this post, we will take a close look at inflammatory bowel disease, so that who have been diagnosed with this condition can go on to live their lives with greater confidence.
Before we get started, let’s take a moment to recognize the unsung heroes that have made life better for countless patients that live with IBD everyday.
Doctors like Lisa Marie Cannon MD have extensive experience in the colorectal field, making today’s understanding of this debilitating and embarrassing disorder much better than it has been in the past.
It is due to their perseverance that we have a wealth of knowledge on inflammatory bowel disease, thereby making this guide possible; for that, we would like to thank them for their hard work. With that out of the way, here’s what you should know about inflammatory bowel disease.
What causes inflammatory bowel disease?
Inflammatory bowel disease is a complicated creature, as there are a variety of factors that lead to the aggravations that makes it such a debilitating condition.
In general, a mix between genetic predisposition and environmental stressors lead to a situation where the host’s immune systems ends up attacking their friendly gut bacteria, causing the inflammation and pain that are the basis for the worst symptoms that sufferers report.
Commonalities among IBD patients include a lack of diversity in their gut bacteria, having taken a large course of antibiotics two to five years prior to their diagnosis, a high-protein diet, and the partial/complete loss of their intestinal epithelium.
These factors may be the cause, or they may merely be symptoms of an underlying cause; as further research is conducted, this complex ball of yarn will slowly become unraveled, leading to better treatments, and one day, a cure.
How can inflammatory bowel disease be treated?
Surgical intervention may be necessary depending on the severity of a patient’s IBD, as it provides temporary relief from the months and years of compounded damage suffered prior to their diagnosis.
From there, IBD sufferers are prescribed immunosuppressive drugs, which blunt the body’s aggressive response to the subject’s gut bacteria, and anti-inflammatories that will help bring intestinal swelling under control.
Changes to diet will also be suggested, as most proteins will trigger flare ups more readily than other types of food. Additionally, the symptoms that afflict IBD sufferers lead to deficiencies in certain nutrients. This makes it prudent to consume foods that are rich in Vitamin B, fatty acids, zinc and magnesium, among others.