Posted By Author on April 14, 2021
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) affects more than 1.5 million Americans, making digestive symptoms a part of their daily life. But proper nutrition and other lifestyle changes can go a long way in managing flare-ups and ensuring painful symptoms don’t keep you sidelined.
If you’re experiencing IBD symptoms, call your Charleston GI doctor today! Our experienced team treats a wide range of digestive issues, and is proud to provide a higher standard of caring to patients across the Lowcountry.
Inflammatory bowel disease is a term used to describe disorders involving the chronic inflammation of the digestive tract. There are 2 types of IBD: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. While the exact cause is still unknown, IBD is thought to be the result of a defective immune system that reacts improperly to environmental triggers. These symptoms are common with both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis:
Crohn’s disease can involve inflammation of any part of the digestive tract, from mouth to anus – but most commonly, the small intestine. Because inflammation can extend through the intestine’s wall, patients may experience strictures (narrowing), fistulas (abnormal openings), malabsorption of nutrients and diarrhea.
Ulcerative colitis involves the inflammation of the colon or large intestine, often causing bloody diarrhea. Since inflammation does not extend through the entire intestinal wall, fistulas do not result. Like Crohn’s disease, extensive inflammation may eventually require surgery.
An essential part of treating IBD involves nutrition and diet. Trust a qualified IBD doctor to help you determine which foods to avoid while still meeting your nutritional needs.
The following tips are recommended for managing flare-ups and unpleasant symptoms:
Research has revealed a link between smoking and inflammatory bowel disease, showing that smokers are more likely to suffer from Crohn’s disease than non-smokers – and more likely to relapse. IBD treatments have also proven to be less effective in smokers. Quitting smoking can help manage IBD symptoms and improve overall health.
To learn more about IBD and how to manage it, contact your Charleston GI doctors! Our team can help provide relief – from recommending long-term lifestyle changes to managing medication side effects. The Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation is a great resource as well, offering beneficial information about IBD and the ongoing fight to cure it.