Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a broad term that refers to chronic swelling or inflammation within the intestines and can represent a group of intestinal disorders including Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. It is important to note that this condition is often confused with the non-inflammatory condition of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) and although they may share symptoms, there are key differences.

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Causes

The exact cause of inflammatory bowel disease is unknown, however certain factors are associated with this condition. These factors include your genetic makeup, the health of your immune system, lifestyle choices, and family history.

Symptoms

The symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease will vary depending on the location and severity of the inflammation, but common symptoms include:

  • Bleeding ulcers
  • Diarrhea
  • Stomach pain, cramping and bloating
  • Weight loss

In some cases, it may be associated with problems outside of the digestive system, such as eye inflammation, skin disorders, and liver disorders. Our doctors will conduct a thorough physical examination and additional testing such as X-rays and stool samples to confirm a diagnosis and determine the best treatment option for you.

Treatment

Common treatment options for inflammatory bowel disease include dietary and lifestyle adjustments, medication, and surgery. Drinking plenty of fluids, avoiding dairy products, and adding supplements to your diet can help avoid nutritional deficiencies.

Surgery may be recommended for more severe cases of inflammatory bowel disease and can include the removal of fistulas, removal of affected areas, or widening a narrowed bowel. While these treatment options offer temporary relief, this condition can persist. For more information on inflammatory bowel disease or to schedule an appointment, please contact our office at (405) 689-9669.