Inflammatory bowel disease is a condition that causes inflammation in different parts of the digestive tract. This condition leads to pain and interferes with the digestive process essential for survival. For this reason, Jeffrey Miller MD, a specialist at the Osteoporosis and Rheumatology Center of Tampa Bay, helps patients understand the cause of their inflammatory bowel symptoms and develop an ideal treatment plan to relieve pain and restore function to their digestive tract.
What is the digestive tract?
The digestive tract is one of the most critical systems responsible for breaking down food and extracting the necessary nutrients the body needs to survive. The digestive tracts also help to eliminate waste products from food. The main parts of the digestive tract include the mouth, esophagus, stomach, and small and large intestine.
What are the different kinds of inflammatory bowel disease?
Inflammatory bowel disease is a general term for different types of diseases. Two primary diseases fall under the umbrella term inflammatory bowel disease:
- Ulcerative colitis: This disease primarily affects the large intestine. Although ulcerative colitis causes colon inflammation, it is also associated with other non-digestive complications.
- Crohn’s disease: It is not unusual for this inflammatory bowel disease to affect different parts of the digestive tract. However, Crohn’s disease’s most common location is the tail portion of the ileum.
What are the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease?
It is crucial to understand that symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease vary depending on location and severity. Among the most common symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease include:
- Diarrhea: This symptom presents when specific parts of the digestive tract cannot reabsorb water.
- Stomach ache
- Bleeding ulcers that cause blood to show up in the stool
- Weight loss
Other symptoms due to inflammatory bowel disease affecting non-digestive organs include eye inflammation and arthritis.
What are the risk factors for inflammatory bowel disease?
Most doctors do not understand the leading cause of inflammatory bowel disease. However, specific risk factors increase your chances of developing this digestive tract condition. For example:
- Genetics and family history
There are specific genes related to inflammatory bowel disease. Having a family member with this disease means you are at risk of developing it.
- Complications of the immune system
When a bacterium or virus infects your digestive tract, your immune system will respond by causing inflammation. However, patients with autoimmune disease get inflammation without pathogens in the digestive tract.
Active smokers are at a higher risk of developing Crohn’s disease. Moreover, smoking can increase your chances of getting complications. Being a nonsmoker or a former smoker does not mean that you will not develop inflammatory bowel disease because ulcerative colitis tends story affect this group of patients.
Finding the proper treatment for your inflammatory bowel disease
Inflammatory bowel disease can lead to severe bowel obstruction, intestinal rupture, or fistula. You need to visit a doctor who will review your symptoms and risk factors to confirm the presence of inflammatory bowel disease. Contact the Osteoporosis and Rheumatology Center of Tampa Bay to receive comprehensive diagnosis and treatment for your inflammatory bowel disease that will relieve your symptoms and enhance your well-being.