Treatment Of Ibd Complications
Treatment depends on the particular complication, but may include:
- complications caused by nutritional deficiencies vitamin and mineral supplements , changes to diet or a liquid diet in severe cases
- inflammation in other body areas usually ease when the bowel inflammation is controlled with medication
- fistulas small openings that often heal by themselves, with treatment to ease the inflammation. A person may need surgery to close a larger fistula. Abscesses may need antibiotics and surgical drainage
- intestinal obstruction in some cases, medical treatment to ease the inflammation will clear the obstruction. In severe cases, the person will need surgery
- toxic megacolon the person goes to hospital, and receives fluids and nutrients intravenously instead of by mouth, plus antibiotics and steroids to reduce inflammation. Sometimes, the doctor will remove the contents of the persons stomach with a slender tube . A ruptured bowel needs surgical repair or removal. In severe cases, the whole of the large bowel may need to be surgically removed.
How Are Ulcerative Colitis And Colitis Different
A key difference is what triggers colitis. For instance, IBD is usually an autoimmune issue. Thatâs when your immune system attacks healthy tissue in your body. Other kinds of colitis can be the result of outside factors, such as germs or medical treatments.
People with UC or other kinds of IBD may also have inflammatory symptoms alongside bowel problems, including:
But those arenât the only distinctions. Hereâs a breakdown by colitis type:
Ulcerative colitis . This type of IBD causes sores and constant inflammation in the inner lining of your large intestine. UC often starts in the rectum and extends through the left side of your colon. But some people have colitis throughout most or all of their colon. Thatâs called extensive colitis or pancolitis.
Crohnâs colitis. This is a feature of Crohnâs disease, another type of IBD. Crohnâs can impact any part of your gastrointestinal tract â thatâs your mouth to your . Unlike UC, you may have healthy tissue in between spots of inflammation. Crohnâs disease can also affect many layers of your GI tract.
Microscopic colitis. This is another type of IBD. Itâs not related to ulcerative colitis or Crohnâs disease, but itâs associated with other autoimmune diseases. Like the name suggests, your doctor has to use a microscope to see any evidence of this kind of colitis.
There are two main forms:
Some experts think collagenous and lymphocytic colitis may be different phases of the same condition.
Are Inflammatory Bowel Diseases Different From Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Yes! IBD and IBS are very different, even though the symptoms can be similar. Most importantly, the treatments are not the same. Working with your provider to figure out what condition you have is important so that you can find the best treatment.
Fortunately, its also less serious. IBD is caused by inflammation and damage to the GI tract. With IBS, this isnt the case. IBS is a collection of gut symptoms caused by unusual functioning of the bowel.
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Who Is More Likely To Have Microscopic Colitis
Anyone can develop microscopic colitis. The disease is more common in
- older adults. The average age at which people are diagnosed with microscopic colitis is 60 to 65 years.2 However, microscopic colitis may occur in people of any age, including children.
- women. Research suggests the disease is three to nine times more common in women than in men.2
What Is A Flare
When you have ulcerative colitis, your physician will try to find the right medications to control your symptoms. However, since there is no cure, the systemic disease is always there. When the symptoms arent present, you are in remission. If the symptoms return, especially if they are worse than before, it is a flare. This is why it is important to continue taking any medications your doctor prescribes, even if you feel better. If you stop taking your medication, then you can increase your chance of experiencing a flare and progression of the disease. Infections, stress, and taking antibiotics or NSAIDs can also make you more susceptible to a flare.
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Getting To A Diagnosis
Theres no doubt that IBD can significantly decrease quality of life, between uncomfortable symptoms and frequent bathroom visits. IBD can even lead to scar tissue and increase the risk of colon cancer.
If you experience any unusual symptoms, its important to call your doctor. You may be referred to a gastroenterologist for IBD testing, such as a colonoscopy, sigmoidoscopy, or a CT scan. Your doctor may also order blood and fecal testing. Diagnosing the specific form of IBD will lead to more effective therapies.
Commitment to daily treatment and lifestyle changes can help minimize symptoms, achieve remission, and avoid complications.
Regardless of your diagnosis, Healthlines free app, IBD Healthline, can connect you with people who understand. Meet others living with Crohns and ulcerative colitis through one-on-one messaging and live group discussions. Plus, youll have expert-approved information on managing IBD at your fingertips. Download the app for iPhone or Android.
What Are The Causes Of Ulcerative Colitis
We do not yet know what causes this disease. Studies indicate that the inflammation in ulcerative colitis involves a complex interaction of factors: the genes the person has inherited, the immune system, and something in the environment. Foreign substances in the environment may be the direct cause of the inflammation, or they may stimulate the bodys defenses to produce an inflammation that continues without control. In patients with ulcerative colitis, once the patients immune system is turned on, it does not know how to properly turn off. As a result, inflammation damages the intestine and causes the symptoms of ulcerative colitis. One of the major goals of medical therapy is to help patients to better regulate their immune system.
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Crohns Disease And Ulcerative Colitis And Digesting Food
Your mouth and stomach break down food by mechanical and chemical means. When the food has reached a pulp-like consistency, it is slowly released into the first part of the small intestine . The food is then massaged along the length of the small intestine. Organs like the pancreas and the gall bladder make digestive enzymes to further break down the food into its simpler components.
- Crohns disease an inflamed ileum impairs absorption of vitamin B12 and bile salts. Inflammation along the length of the small intestine impairs absorption of all food nutrients. Inflammation of the large bowel impairs water absorption, causing diarrhoea.
- Ulcerative colitis digestion and absorption are generally not affected. Inflammation of the large bowel impairs water absorption, causing diarrhoea.
Other factors that may affect your nutritional status include:
What Causes Microscopic Colitis And Who Is Affected
As with ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease, the exact cause of microscopic colitis has yet to be identified. But bacteria, bacterial toxins, and viruses are leading candidates in research.
Some experts have suggested that use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs , such as aspirin or ibuprofen, might be the actual culprits. It is also possible that these medications might simply aggravate symptoms in individuals who are already prone to the illness. Another theory is that collagenous colitis and lymphocytic colitis are caused by an autoimmune response, which means that the body launches an attack upon itself mistaking various cells in the colon for foreign invaders. The final answer may well turn out to be some combination of these theories.
There does seem to be a link between microscopic colitis and the autoimmune disease celiac sprue, also known as celiac disease. Caused by an immunologic reaction of the intestine to wheat, barley, rye, and oats, celiac sprue is a digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients. Its hallmarks are chronic diarrhea and weight loss.
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Ulcerative Colitis In Children
According to one study of IBD in the United States, 1 in 1,299 children between ages 2 and 17 years old were affected by the condition in 2016. Crohns disease was twice as common as UC, and boys were more likely to have IBD than girls.
For children with IBD, a diagnosis is more likely after 10 years old.
UC symptoms in children are similar to symptoms in older individuals. Children may experience bloody diarrhea, abdominal pain and cramping, and fatigue.
In addition, they may experience issues compounded by the condition, such as:
- anemia due to blood loss
- malnutrition from poor eating
- unexplained weight loss
UC can have a significant effect on a childs life, especially if the condition isnt treated and managed properly. Treatments for children are more limited because of possible complications. For example, medicated enemas are rarely used as a treatment method in children.
However, children with UC may be prescribed medications that reduce inflammation and prevent immune system attacks on the colon. For some children, surgery may be necessary to manage symptoms.
If your child has been diagnosed with UC, its important that you work closely with their doctor to find treatments and lifestyle changes that can help. Check out these tips for parents and children dealing with UC.
What Role Does Diet And Nutrition Play In Ulcerative Colitis
Diet does not cause the development of ulcerative colitis nor can any special diet cure the disease. However, the foods you or your child eat may play a role in managing symptoms and lengthening the time between flareups.
Some foods may make symptoms worse and should be avoided, especially during flareups. Foods that trigger symptoms are different from person to person. To narrow down what foods affect you, keep track of what you eat each day and how you feel afterward .
Problem foods often include:
- High sugar foods and drinks.
- Carbonated beverages.
- High-fiber foods.
In addition to the problem foods listed above, infants, children and teenagers can also experience issues with:
- Dairy products.
Keep a careful eye on your childs diet and nutrition. Their appetite may decrease during a flareup and they might not eat enough to stay healthy, and grow. Also, the inflammation caused by ulcerative colitis may keep their digestive tract from absorbing enough nutrients. This can also affect your childs health. For these reasons, you may have to increase the amount of calories your child consumes.
Its best to work with your provider and nutritionist to come up with a personalized diet plan if you or your child has ulcerative colitis.
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What Are The Causes Of Ibd And Ibs
The exact causes of both IBD and IBS are not clear. With IBD, your genes play a strong role, and it runs in families. There are also many other things that can contribute, such as certain foods, smoking , and missing medication doses. With IBS, many factors are thought to be involved, but stress and diet play a big role. Sometimes people develop IBS after infections as well.
Getting The Right Diagnosis
Your doctor will ask about the type and timing of your symptoms. Theyâll probably feel your belly to see if itâs tender. Let them know about any medications that you take and if anyone in your family has ever had IBD or other digestive issues.
Everything you tell your doctor gives them clues about other tests you might need, such as:
Stool samples and bloodwork. Your poop and blood can reveal signs of infection or inflammation. Blood tests can also show low levels of iron. Thatâs called anemia. It can happen when colitis causes a lot of bleeding in your colon.
Imaging. Your doctor may take pictures inside your colon or rectum. They might use a special liquid called barium for some tests. Thatâs a substance thatâll coat your colon to help it show up better on X-rays.
You may also need:
- Magnetic resonance imaging scans
- Computed tomography scans
Endoscopic tests. An endoscope is a camera attached to a thin, bendy tube. Your doctor can use it to look at your lower colon and rectum or entire colon .
Tissue biopsy. Your doctor may remove some tissue during a colonoscopy or sigmoidoscopy. A lab technician will use a microscope to check for signs of inflammation or other abnormal cells.
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Allergic Colitis In Infants
Allergic colitis is a condition that can occur in infants, usually within the first months after birth. The condition can cause symptoms in infants including:
- possible flecks of blood in a babys stool
Doctors dont know exactly what causes allergic colitis. One of the most popular theories is that infants with allergic colitis have an allergic or hypersensitive reaction to certain components in breast milk. A 2020 review of studies indicated that a protein allergy, either through breast milk, cows milk, or formula, could contribute.
Eosinophilic colitis is a type of allergic colitis that can also show up in infants with these symptoms. Its causes are similarly unknown , but its likely also related to a protein allergy.
Doctors will often recommend an elimination diet for the birthing parent, which involves slowly cutting out certain foods known to contribute to allergic colitis. Examples include cows milk, eggs, and wheat. If the baby stops having symptoms of allergic colitis, these foods were likely causing the problem.
In severe cases, monoclonal antibodies, such as those used to inflammatory bowel disease , may also be another treatment option.
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