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Inflammatory bowel symptoms

Thursday, 04 May 2023

Customer question:

How are the signs of an inflamed intestine manifested? Anonymous customer's question

Pharmacist's answer:

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term that describes a disorder that involves long-term (chronic) inflammation of the tissues in your digestive tract. Types of IBD include:

  • Crohn's disease is characterized by inflammation of the lining of the digestive tract, which can often involve the deeper layers of the digestive tract. Crohn's disease most often affects the small intestine but can also affect the large intestine and occasionally the upper gastrointestinal tract.
  • Microscopic colitis: causes inflammation of the intestines that can only be detected under a microscope.
  • Ulcerative colitis involves inflammation and sores (ulcers) along the lining of the colon and rectum.

IBD causes many problems in the colon and rectum but can also affect other body parts. Symptoms may come and go. People with IBD may experience flare-ups followed by symptom-free periods.

The first signs of IBD may appear after exposure to something that irritates the gut, such as a drug (including aspirin, ibuprofen, and antibiotics) or a gastrointestinal infection. The irritation or infection disappears, but the immune system continues responding.

Common symptoms of IBD include:

  • abdominal pain
  • diarrhea, sometimes with blood
  • anxiety and depression
  • urgent need to defecate and fecal incontinence
  • malnutrition and Stunted Growth in Children
  • rectal bleeding
  • weight loss
  • fever
  • anemia

See your doctor if your bowel habits keep changing or if you have any signs and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease. Although inflammatory bowel disease is not usually fatal, it is a severe illness that can sometimes lead to life-threatening complications.

Interesting reading: Celiac diet

Interesting reading: Ascites

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