Symptoms for IBD can be different from one form to the other because they are dependent on what part of the intestinal tract is involved . Common symptoms are abdominal pain and diarrhea. Since these symptoms and some of the other presentations of IBD are rather nonspecific, a diagnosis for either form of the condition can be delayed for months or even years.
Affected individuals can experience abnormal bowel habits, tenesmus, and passages of mucus without pus or blood. Extraintestinal manifestations include arthralgia, rash, malaise, fever, and weight loss.
In order to diagnose IBD, other conditions like various infections, ischemic colitis, colon cancer, and diverticulitis must be first ruled out . Once these other conditions are excluded, a workup for IBD can include:
Usually, IBD can be treated with medication, surgery, or a combination of both when necessary . Any specific treatment is based on whether the patient is suffering from ulcerative colitis or Crohn disease.
The major goals of any of the treatment methods are achieve remission and to prevent flares. These therapies can include symptomatic care that will help alleviate the cramps and other systemic symptoms related to the condition, as well as mucosal healing. These treatment methods are usually followed by individualized escalated steps in order to get a positive response.
In terms of mortality, the rate related to IBD falls between 1.4 to 5 times within the general international population according to research . Between the two forms of IBD, Crohn disease is more commonly linked to mortality as people with ulcerative colitis vary only slightly from the general population.
There are a number of factors that lead to IBD including a genetic predisposition to the condition. Other factors include altered responses to microorganisms found in the gut and a dysregulation of the immune system . As of yet, there is no determinable primary cause for IBD, but researchers continue to propose theories as studies continue. According to research, the cause for the altered immune response that leads to IBD is considered to be unidentifiable . Several risk factors including diet, smoking, physical activity, other disorders and medications have been proposed to contribute to the development of an inflammatory bowel disease.
The instances of IBD seem to be dependent on location as the highest rates of IBD seem to be found in developed countries while developing regions show the lowest rates of recorded cases of the disorder. Similarly, the rates of IBD also seem to correlate to the climate of an area with warmer climates reporting a lower rate of IBD when compared with colder climates. Urban areas report a higher rate of IBD when paralleled with rural areas, too.
Statistically speaking, the incidence of ulcerative colitis falls between 0.5 and 24.5 cases out of 100,000 per year internationally. Crohn disease occurs between 0.1 to 16 in 100,000 cases. Annually, there are around 396 cases of general IBD reported on average.
Crohn disease can involve any part of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the perianal area. Affected segments usually are separated by normal bowel, leading to the occurrence of skip lesions. The inflammation is transmural, often extending through to the serosa, resulting in fibrosis and strictures, sinus tracts and fistula formation.
Ulcerative colitis is considered to be the inflammation of the mucosal layer of the colon with continuous involvement. The rectum is affected in the majority of cases. The inflammation leads to edema, fluid and electrolyte loss, bleeding, formation of crypt abscesses and ulceration .
There are dietary changes that a patient may implement in order to reduce symptoms and stave off inflammation and recurring flare ups of IBD, however ways to prevent the disorder from ever occurring in the first place are unknown .
Inflammatory bowel disease, abbreviated IBD, is a group of inflammatory conditions with two major types, ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease . After a proper workup it is usually possible to determine which form of IBD is present in a patient, if not, the condition is referred to as indeterminate colitis. Other types of colitis include microscopic colitis, lymphocytic colitis, and collagenous colitis but they are usually not considered to fall under the umbrella of IBD.
Both Crohn disease and ulcerative colitis affect the gastrointestinal tract. Ulcerative colitis affects the colon while Crohn disease is a condition that may develop in the whole digestive system, characterized by skip lesions.
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a chronic inflammation disorder that affects different parts of the digestive tract. Under the general diagnosis of IBD are two disorders, ulcerative colitis and Crohn disease. The former condition affects the large intestine and rectum while the latter affects the entire digestive system.
Both disorders can create pain and discomfort along with abnormal bowel habits. They can also lead to other health complications that, if left untreated, can be life threatening.
The symptoms associated with IBD can be medically treated but there are times where surgery might be necessary to address larger problems in more severe cases. In most cases, lifestyle changes related to a person’s daily diet will be recommended to prevent flare ups of IBD. There are no known ways to prevent IBD from occurring in the first place.