Inflammatory Bowel Disease

About

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)

It is very important to differentiate IBD from

  1. Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  2. Celiac disease…

 

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term for two conditions (Crohn’s disease
and ulcerative colitis) that are characterized by chronic inflammation of the
gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

  • Persistent diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Rectal bleeding/bloody stools
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue

The exact cause of IBD is unknown, but IBD is the result of a defective immune system. A properly functioning immune system attacks foreign organisms, such as viruses and bacteria, to protect the body. In IBD, the immune system responds incorrectly to environmental triggers, which causes inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.

IBD is diagnosed using a combination of endoscopy (for Crohn’s disease) or colonoscopy (for ulcerative colitis) and 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.

Several types of medications may be used to treat IBD: aminosalicylates, corticosteroids (such as prednisone), immunomodulators, and the newest class approved for IBD—the “biologics”.