Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) is a common disorder that affects the large intestine or colon.
IBS is considered a chronic condition that you'll need to manage long term.
Important to notate that irritable bowel syndrome usually doesn't cause changes in bowel tissue or increase your risk of colorectal cancer.
Signs & Symptoms
The most common symptoms that a patient with IBS will complain include:
- Abdominal pain
- Bloating that is typically relieved or partially relieved by passing a bowel movement
- Excess gas
- Diarrhea or constipation — sometimes alternating bouts of diarrhea and constipation
- Mucus in the stool
Most people with IBS experience times when the signs and symptoms are worse and times when they improve or even disappear completely.
The precise cause of IBS isn't known. Factors that appear to play a role include:
- Muscle contraction in the intestine
- Inflammation in the intestines
- Nervous system
- Severe infection
- Changes in microflora (bacteria) in the intestines
Ulcerative colitis treatment usually involves either drug therapy or surgery
Anti-Inflammatory drugs: Are often the first step in the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
- Oral 5-aminosalicylates
Immune System suppressors: These drugs are focused on reduce inflammation, but they also have effects on your immune system, that is involved on the process of inflammation. For some people, a combination of these drugs works better than one drug alone.
Antibiotics: Antibiotics can reduce the amount of drainage and sometimes heal fistulas and abscesses in people with Crohn's disease. Some researchers also think antibiotics help reduce harmful intestinal bacteria that may play a role in activating the intestinal immune system, leading to inflammation. Frequently prescribed antibiotics include ciprofloxacin (Cipro) and metronidazole (Flagyl).
- Pain relievers
- Iron supplements
- Vitamin b-12 shots
- Calcium and Vitamin D supplements
Surgery can often eliminate ulcerative colitis. But that usually means removing your entire colon and rectum.
In most cases, this involves a procedure called ileal pouch anal anastomosis. This procedure eliminates the need to wear a bag to collect stool. Your surgeon constructs a pouch from the end of your small intestine. The pouch is then attached directly to your anus, allowing you to expel waste relatively normally.
In some cases a pouch is not possible. Instead, surgeons create a permanent opening in your abdomen through which stool is passed for collection in an attached bag.
When to See Your Doctor
See your doctor if you experience a persistent change in your bowel habits or if you have signs and symptoms such as:
- Abdominal pain
- Blood in your stool
- Ongoing diarrhea that fails to respond to OTC medications
- Diarrhea that awakens you from sleep
- An unexplained fever lasting more than a day or two
Although ulcerative colitis usually isn't fatal, it's a serious disease that, in some cases, may cause life-threatening complications.
- Age young
- Family history
- Mental health problem (Anxiety-Depression)
There is no one test to diagnose Crohn's disease.
Your doctor will likely use a combination of tests to help confirm a diagnosis of Crohn's disease, including:
- Test for anemia or infection
- Stool test
- CT Scan
- Capsule endoscopy