Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Denver, CO
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What is IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)?
IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) is a general label to describe swelling in your intestines. IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) is generally grouped into two similar but separate diseases:
- Crohn’s disease: Crohn's disease creates uncomfortable inflammation of the GI tract, specifically the colon. It is generally at the base of the small bowel, the start of the colon, and could affect any portion of the gastrointestinal tract ranging from the mouth to the anus.
- Ulcerative colitis: Ulcerative colitis also manifests itself through swelling of the colon but is usually accompanied by ulcerations in the tissue. It is limited to the colon.
The gastrointestinal specialists at Denver Digestive Health Specialists commonly detect and treat inflammatory bowel disease. If you think you may be struggling with this issue and are seeking care for IBD in Denver, CO, please get in touch with us to find a GI provider.
What causes IBD?
The reason behind IBD is generally characterized as an immune system issue. Just like when your body appropriately initiates your immune system to fight bacteria or a virus, an abnormal immune system response can attack the cells in the digestive tract. As a result, sections of the small intestine and colon become irritated. Inflammatory bowel disease does maintain a hereditary factor and can be passed down from parent to child. Risk factors for IBD include:
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pills (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
- Race or ethnicity: Inflammatory bowel disease is most common in Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry but can affect anyone.
- Age: Most individuals diagnosed with IBD are lower than the age of 30.
- Geography: Living in an industrialized area and/or northern climates may increase the risk of IBD.
- Family history: IBD is associated with being passed down in the genes.
What are the signs of IBD?
Symptoms of IBD will be different depending on the condition and its severity. The standard signs of IBD include:
- Rectal pain
- Blood in the stool
- Unintentional weight changes
- Stomach discomfort
- Sudden change in weight
- Change with normal menstrual cycle
- Mouth sores
- Chronic tiredness
- Pain or drainage in the area around the anus
- Urgent need to defecate
- Abdominal cramps
- Joint ache or inflexibility
Please contact a Denver Digestive Health Specialists GI provider should you experience any persistent shift in bowel routines, or notice any mix of the above symptoms. Contact our GI practice in Denver, CO today to set up a consultation.
How is IBD diagnosed?
Inflammatory bowel disease may be found via a variety of approaches, chosen by your provider depending on your symptoms. A colonoscopy or an endoscopy is often utilized to diagnose IBD. Sometimes, additional imaging assessments will be completed, such as X-rays, a CT, or an MRI.
What are the treatment options for IBD?
The primary treatment objective is to alleviate the inflammation in your digestive tract in order to reduce or relieve symptoms. Treatment might, over time, allow for long-term remission of inflammatory bowel disease. IBD treatments involve:
- Enteral nutrition (liquid supplements)
- Anti-inflammatory drugs targeted at an overactive immune system
- Iron supplements
- Anti-diarrheal medications
- Vitamin D and calcium supplements
Inflammatory Bowel Disease FAQs
Is IBD hereditary?
For some patients, genetics can affect the chance of developing inflammatory bowel disease. However, someone can be genetically prone to developing inflammatory bowel disease yet never develop the disorder. The genetic chance of disease occurrence is greater with Crohn’s disease when compared with ulcerative colitis.
Does having inflammatory bowel disease increase the chance of cancer?
Having inflammatory bowel disease does not indicate that someone will get cancer. However, having the condition can heighten the risk of developing colorectal cancer. Controlling the disease well and managing inflammation could help minimize your risk of cancer. Speak with your Denver Digestive Health Specialists gastrointestinal provider to find out further information about the risk of cancer with IBD.
Does a person's diet have an effect on inflammatory bowel disease?
Implementing certain dietary changes might help diminish some of the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. This might involve avoiding foods that tend to induce bloating, gas, abdominal pain, and diarrhea, among other unpleasant symptoms. Our gastrointestinal provider can help you determine a dietary approach that is right for your health.
Does inflammatory bowel disease ever go away?
Presently, there is no known cure for inflammatory bowel disease. But there might be instances when the condition is inactive and goes into remission. IBD and its symptoms may be addressed and managed through medications, supplements, and dietary changes.
IBD is not a deadly condition. However, when left unmanaged and untreated, with time, a person with IBD can increase complications that may be fatal. Furthermore, leaving inflammatory bowel disease untreated can lead to a higher risk of colon cancer. Featuring a highly experienced team of gastroenterologists, Denver Digestive Health Specialists offers options for care to help manage the signs and boost the lives of those struggling with inflammatory bowel disease. To receive help for IBD in Denver, CO, please get in touch with our GI facility today.
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