Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) describes any disorder that involves chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. Common examples include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. The symptoms of IBD depend on the location of the inflammation and its severity. They also usually have a cyclic nature: the patient will typically have a bout of illness followed by a remission. Common symptoms of IBD include diarrhea, blood in the stool, fatigue, fever, abdominal pain and cramps, reduced appetite, and unplanned weight loss. Below is more information about inflammatory bowel disease treatment.
How Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease Diagnosed?
After taking the patient’s medical history, the doctor will order a variety of tests. They might include blood tests to rule out other causes like a bacterial infection.
The doctor may order a colonoscopy, in which they use a long thin tube with a tiny camera to look for abnormalities in the patient’s colon. If the doctor finds anything suspicious, they may also immediately perform a biopsy. A typical colonoscopy takes around 30 to 60 minutes.
An endoscopy is used to examine the upper digestive system, and there are two types. In one form, the doctor will insert a tube with a camera attached into their mouth and down their esophagus to their stomach. The doctor will have administered a pain reliever and sedative to keep the patient comfortable and relaxed.
Another type of endoscopy is the capsule endoscopy, and the doctor is likely to use this method if they suspect the patient has Crohn’s disease. The patient will swallow a capsule containing a tiny camera that transmits images to a recorder worn by the patient. The capsule will travel through the digestive tract and will eventually be painlessly excreted.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatment
The doctor will generally prescribe a variety of medications that will reduce the inflammation and relieve the symptoms. They may start by prescribing anti-inflammatory drugs like aminosalicylates or corticosteroids, and they may choose a drug depending on the location and severity of the inflammation.
Patients with chronic bleeding risk developing iron deficiency anemia. The doctor may prescribe iron pills for them. Similarly, Crohn’s disease and the steroids used to treat it both increase a patient’s chances of developing osteoporosis. Such patients will, therefore, need calcium and Vitamin D supplements to keep their bones strong.
The doctor will recommend changes in the patient’s diet since some foods can make the patient’s symptoms worse. Dairy products and foods containing a lot of fiber are common culprits. The patient should also drink lots of water and eat five or six small meals a day.
If you would like to learn more about your inflammatory bowel disease treatment options, feel free to reach out to the educated staff at Batash Medical in Rego Park, NY. Contact us today to schedule your consultation!