Know the Signs and Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Many people today experience the uncomfortable gastrointestinal symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and think it’s a reality they’ll have to live with for life. However, our gastroenterology specialists want you to know that you do not have to live with this discomfort. Assistance is available — and it’s right around the corner. At GI Alliance, we aim to educate you on your symptoms and provide a variety of treatment methods to help get you back to living your best life.
What exactly is inflammatory bowel disease?
Inflammatory bowel disease is chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. Two conditions you’ve likely heard of are classified within this category — Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. While it might seem like irritating symptoms you have to live with, IBD can lead to irreversible damage to the gastrointestinal tract over time.
The actual cause of this disease has yet to be determined, but it's thought to be related to an unchecked immune system. It’s thought that a patient with IBD has an immune system that is not responding correctly to environmental triggers (viruses or bacteria) and has a close family member with IBD.
The most common signs and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease include:
- Unexplained weight loss
- Bloody stool
- Abdominal pain
How is inflammatory bowel disease treated?
After a diagnosis of IBD, the first step will be to reduce inflammation of your intestines, minimizing as many of your symptoms as possible. There are a number of treatments we can try, and our goal is that, ultimately, you will experience long-lasting freedom from discomfort. Common IBD treatments include:
- Vitamin D, iron, calcium, and other supplements
- Anti-inflammatory medications
- Anti-diarrheal medications
- Dietary changes
The gastrointestinal specialists at GI Alliance can help you identify a treatment to meet your needs. It may require a little investigation to find the right treatment option to help lessen discomfort and inflammation. However, our specialists will work with you throughout the process to determine the proper method of care.
Get help for IBD
Should you suffer from stomach pain, constipation, diarrhea, or other GI symptoms on a consistent basis, it could be IBD. At GI Alliance, our board-certified gastroenterologists can diagnose, help manage, and treat inflammatory bowel disease and the uncomfortable symptoms that often come along with it. If you suspect you could have inflammatory bowel disease and would like to start living life again with less worry and discomfort, please contact your nearest GI Alliance location to request an appointment.