Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Symptoms & Treatment

Ulcerative colitis causes swelling and ulcers to form on the surface of the lining, which bleed and produce pus. In severe cases, the ulcers can weaken the intestine and cause a hole, spilling the bacteria-laden contents of the large intestine into the abdominal cavity or the patients bloodstream. Though Crohn's can affect any of the digestive tract, it most commonly affects the end of the small bowel (the ileum) and the beginning of the colon. With Crohns disease, the inflammation causes swelling and scar tissue to thicken the intestinal wall. The passageway for food becomes more narrow (known as a stricture) and deep ulceration can cause tunnels (known as fistulas). These fistulas can connect the intestines to organs that they shouldnt connect to, like the bladder or the skin. In addition to the damage caused to the digestive tract, IBD can create many other health problems for those afflicted. The loss of blood from the intestines can cause anemia, or below-normal levels of healthy red blood cells. Other problems include arthritis and joint pain, weak bones, eye problems, gallstones, skin issues, kidney stones, and delayed puberty and growth issues in children. Many of these problems are caused by the malabsorption of nutrients, since the digestive tract is not working properly. IBD flareups can also cause inflammation in other parts of the body. Some of these symptoms will improve when the IBD is properly treated. her explanation

Explainer: what is inflammatory bowel disease?

But, in most people, the trigger may never be known. Factors in the gut, such as a disruption in the balance between good and bad bacteria, can also contribute to the onset of the disease. The effect of inflammatory bowel disease on the gut is actually caused by the persons immune system. Once activated, the disease attacks the bodys cells instead of foreign cells such as bacteria, fungi or viruses. This initiates the sort of angry red inflammation in the gut that would normally get rid of infections. Unfortunately, in the case of inflammatory bowel disease, the immune system reacts to bacteria that are normally resident in the gut. And, in so doing, the disease causes severe damage that can cause a perforation (a hole through the wall of the gut). This is a life-threatening event and, at this point, surgery is the only treatment option. The many surgeries some people suffering from inflammatory bowel disease have to undergo during their life is extremely burdensome. But theres an indirect benefit for the community in this the resulting surgical samples can sometimes be used to help researchers who are trying to find a cure for inflammatory bowel disease. Current and new treatments Inflammatory bowel disease is not active all the time it is prone to flare-ups that are separated by quiet times during which the disease is in remission. talks about it

Sheffield team explore impact of gut disease on young peoples identity

Inflammatory bowel disease is an incurable illness, which flare ups at multiple points during peoples lives. Symptoms include abdominal pain, extreme tiredness, weight loss and severe bouts of diarrhoea. The two main types of inflammatory bowel disease are Crohns Disease and Ulcerative Colitis. Ulcerative Colitis is an inflammation of the lowest part of the bowel, the colon. Crohn's disease also affects the colon, but can affect the entire digestive system and is characterised by sections of healthy bowel interspersed with sections of diseased bowel. Dr Alenka Brooks, a specialist registrar in gastroenterology at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, said: Adolescence is a crucial time for developing identity, forming important relationships, completing education, gaining employment and becoming an autonomous individual. "Living with inflammatory bowel disease during this time can have a dramatic impact on all elements of a young persons life, with teenagers having to deal with the social, emotional, psychological and potentially embarrassing consequences of this disease. This can affect their ability to lead a normal life, restrict employment opportunities and career progression. To our knowledge there are no studies specifically focusing on the lived experience and illness perceptions of young adults with inflammatory bowel disease, how these perceptions and experiences change over time, or patients experience of moving from child to adult services. People living with the disease often encounter a huge amount of stigma, too, as they could be having to go to the toilet up to 20 times a day. During the study, Dr Alenka Brooks with Professor Alan Lobo, who leads the inflammatory bowel disease service at Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust, Dr Georgina Rowse and Professor Paul Norman at the Department of Psychology at the University of Sheffield and Dr Priya Narula at Sheffield Childrens Hospital NHS Foundation Trust will ask two groups of patients, aged 16 to 18, and aged 19 to 21, to share their feelings about their illness, how they have coped, what diagnosis was like and how other people perceive them since being diagnosed. The impact of how their quality of life, psychological distress and how their perceptions have changed over time will also be analysed, with patients in child services and adults services asked to share their experiences of care, relationships with staff, timing decisions, social support and self-management. Dr Georgina Rowse, Senior Lecturer in Clinical Psychology at the University of Sheffield, hopes that the research will have an influence on future care for patients. "By speaking with young people experiencing inflammatory bowel disease we hope to gain an in-depth understanding of how they experience their illness and the role it plays in their life and identity," said Dr Rowse. "By developing a better understanding of these young peoples experience of inflammatory bowel disease we also hope we may be able to shape services in the future to help prepare these young people and their families for any difficulties they may face and give them the skills they need to cope better with managing their illness. Georgina Ives, 21, who spends her time running a busy chain of pubs in Sheffield and Bournemouth was diagnosed with the illness at the age of eight after being taken into hospital with an abscess. Living with inflammatory bowel disease has made me grow up quicker," said Georgina. "When I was younger I felt really tried, wouldnt eat anything and missed a lot of school. her response