Inflammatory bowel disease, or IBD, is a chronic condition in which parts of the intestine become swollen. The exact cause isn’t clear, but it’s likely a combination of genetics, the immune system, and an environmental trigger that leads to the inflammation in the gastrointestinal tract.
IBD has two types, Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. They have many things in common, but some critical differences stand out. The former can affect the mouth, esophagus, and any part of the gastrointestinal tract. The inflammation causes damage to the entire bowel wall. Meanwhile, the latter only occurs in the large intestine. The sores, or ulcers, develop in the colon’s inner lining.
Signs and Symptoms
The most common symptoms of IBD are stomachache and diarrhea. Other symptoms include fever, low energy, and weight loss. The disease can also cause other conditions, such as skin rashes and eye and liver problems.
IBD CME addresses the needs for proper diagnosis. If you’re experiencing any of the symptoms, it’s best to see your doctor. Aside from doing a physical exam, you’ll be asked about your medical history, any medicines you take, allergies you might have, and other relevant issues.
Inflammatory bowel disease is diagnosed with stool tests. X-rays, CT scans, and MRI may also be done. After checking your feces for blood, the doctor might do a colonoscopy.
The goal is to ease the symptoms as well as prevent other problems and further flare-ups. IBD is treated with medicines, such as anti-inflammatory drugs, including corticosteroids, to decrease the inflammation caused by IBD.
If the symptoms persist after taking anti-inflammatory drugs, the doctor may recommend immunosuppressants or immunomodulators. Antibiotics are also useful for preventing or treating bacterial infections. For patients who experience diarrhea, antidiarrheal medications may be prescribed.
Patients with IBD must eat nutritious food and drink plenty of fluids to replace those lost due to diarrhea. They should work with a dietitian to come up with an eating plan that’s suitable for their situation.
Surgery is sometimes necessary to control the symptoms. It’s also done to remove the damaged sections of the intestines. For individuals with Crohn’s disease, a surgical procedure may be needed more than once, as the condition may involve other intestinal parts over time.
Modern IBD CE has introduced advances in the disease’s diagnosis and treatment. The goal isn’t just to relieve the symptoms, but also to improve the patient’s quality of life.