Dr. MJ Bazos MD,
inflammatory bowel disease?
Inflammatory bowel disease is the name of a
group of disorders that cause the intestines to become inflamed (red and
swollen). The inflammation lasts a long time and usually comes back over and
over again. More than 600,000 Americans have some kind of inflammatory bowel
disease every year.
If you have inflammatory bowel disease, you may
have abdominal cramps and pain, diarrhea, weight loss and bleeding from your
intestines. Two kinds of inflammatory bowel disease are Crohn's disease and
ulcerative colitis. Crohn's disease usually causes ulcers (open sores) along the
length of the small and large intestines. Crohn's disease either spares the
rectum, or causes inflammation or infection with drainage around the rectum.
Ulcerative colitis usually causes ulcers in the lower part of the large
intestine, often starting at the rectum.
inflammatory bowel disease?
The exact causes are unknown. The disease may be
caused by a germ or by an immune system problem. You don't have to worry about
your family members catching the disease from you, because it isn't contagious.
However, inflammatory bowel disease does seem to run in
inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed?
Based on your symptoms, your doctor may suspect
that you have Crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Your bowel movements may be
tested for germs and the presence of blood. Your doctor will probably look
inside your intestines with a sigmoidoscope or a colonoscope. In these
procedures, the doctor uses a narrow flexible tube to look directly inside your
intestines. Special x-rays may be helpful in diagnosing this
inflammatory bowel disease treated?
The best thing you can do is take good care of
yourself. It's important to eat a healthy diet. Depending on your symptoms, your
doctor may ask you to cut down on the amount of fiber or dairy products in your
diet. In addition to eating well, you need to get enough rest. It's also
important that you learn to manage the stress in your life. When you become
overly upset by things that happen at home or at work, your intestinal problems
can get worse.
You will most likely be treated by a team of
doctors. This team may include your family physician, a gastroenterologist (a
specialist in stomach and intestinal disorders) and, possibly, a
The goal of treatment is to get rid of the
inflammation by taking anti-inflammatory medicines. Some of these medicines are
sulfasalazine (brand name: Azulfidine), olsalazine (brand name: Dipentum) and
mesalamine (brand names: Asacol, Pentasa, Rowasa). An antibiotic, such as
metronidazole (brand name: Flagyl), may be helpful for killing germs in the
intestines, especially if you have Crohn's disease. You may also need to take a
corticosteroid, such as prednisone.
If you have severe symptoms, such as diarrhea,
fever or vomiting, you may need to go to the hospital to be treated with special
fluids and medicines that must be given intravenously (in your veins). If you
have severe inflammatory bowel disease, you may need to take powerful medicines
called immunosuppressants. If your ulcerative colitis becomes so severe that it
can't be helped by medicines, it may be necessary to remove part or all of your
colon surgically. Crohn's disease usually isn't helped with surgery. Because
Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis keep coming back and their symptoms
cannot be predicted ahead of time, patients with these illnesses can become
depressed. If you feel depressed, talk with your family doctor. An
antidepressant medicine could help you feel better.