What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Get the facts on this painful gastrointestinal disease. (Q) My partner has recently been diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease . What is this? How is it diagnosed and how should it be treated and managed? (A) Inflammatory bowel disease is a term used to describe two main conditions - ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. In both conditions, parts of the gastrointestinal tract become inflamed and swollen, resulting in a variety of symptoms. These may include abdominal pain, cramps, bloody diarrhoea, fever, poor appetite, weight loss and symptoms of anaemia (such as fatigue, weakness and shortness of breath) as a result of chronic blood loss. The symptoms vary depending on which condition a person has, which parts of the gastrointestinal tract are affected and how severely. In ulcerative colitis, the colon or large intestine is affected, whereas in Crohn's disease, any part of the gastrointestinal tract may be affected, although it is usually the small intestine and colon. Both conditions tend to have waxing and waning periods, with flare-ups - where the disease is active, causes more symptoms and needs intensive treatment - and periods of remission, where it causes fewer symptoms and may only require maintenance treatment. Inflammatory bowel disease is diagnosed by your GP or gastrointestinal specialist on the basis of your symptoms, a physical examination and the results of tests such as blood tests, stool examination, special X-rays and, most importantly, a colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy or upper endoscopy (procedures where a camera is passed through the colon or a part of the digestive tract). The main types of drugs used to treat inflammatory bowel disease are anti-inflammatories, steroids for flare-ups and, in difficult cases, immune modifiers. In some circumstances surgery may be required. see this http://www.bodyandsoul.com.au/health/health+advice/what+is+inflammatory+bowel+diseaser,13397

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