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Doctor insights on: How Long Should Inflammatory Bowel Disease Last

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What is inflammatory bowel disease?

What is inflammatory bowel disease?

IBD defined: Earlier healthtap answers may help. Briefly ibd is a spectum of inflammatory diseases of GI tract. At one end of the spectrum is ulcerative colitis---a disease confined to the mucosal surface of colon. At the opposite end of the spectrum is crohn's disease--a transmural (full thickness) inflammation of any part of GI tract (from mouth to anus). Both are systemic & increase colon cancer risk. ...Read more

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Intestine (Definition)

The gastrointestinal tract starts at the mouth, travel down the tunnel (esophagus), which connects to the stomach, which then empties into the duodenum, jejunum, and ileum---the three parts of the small intestine (@25 feet). This empties into the colon or large intestine (about 5 feet), which then becomes the sigmoid colon, rectum and out the anus. So, every morsel eaten ...Read more


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Who gets an inflammatory bowel disease?

Who gets an inflammatory bowel disease?

Almost anyone: About 15% of close relatives of crohn's patients carry genes that predispose to this inflammatory bowel disease. Also, ethnic origin and environment (including infectious and antigenic exposure as well as tobacco) play roles in disease emergence and "flaring." keep in mind that ibd can present in young, middle aged, or elderly, and almost anywhere and in any population around the world. ...Read more

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How is inflammatory bowel disease cured?

How is inflammatory bowel disease cured?

Cure for IBD?: Ulcerative colitis involves inflammation of the colonic mucosal surface, so colectomy (removal of the colon) is curative for it. Crohn's disease however is a transmural (full-thickness) inflammation of any part of the GI tract (from mouth to anus). Crohn's is not curable, but it is controllable with medications (see my previous healthtap answer regarding "step up" versus "top down" treatments. ...Read more

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How is inflammatory bowel disease treated?

How is inflammatory bowel disease treated?

Many options: 1. 5-asa medications (sulfasalazine, asacol, (mesalamine) pentasa) may work for mild ulcerative colitis (uc), but not crohn's disease. 2. Steroids work, but are only useful for short course because of side effects. 3. Azathioprine (imuran), 6-mp, Methotrexate are often effective, and reduce the need for steroids. 4. Remicade, Humira are often effective for crohn's, sometimes for uc. 5. Surgery if needed. ...Read more

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How inflammatory bowel disease affect you?

How inflammatory bowel disease affect you?

IBD is systemic: Inflammatory bowel disease runs a spectrum from ulcerative colitis (inflammation of inside lining of colon) to crohn's (full-thickness inflammation that can involve any part of gut from mouth to anus). Almost any organ system can be affected, pregnancies are at risk, & there is a high prevalence of cancer development and need for chronic treatment &/or surgical management. Also, genetic proclivity. ...Read more

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How is inflammatory bowel disease detected?

How is inflammatory bowel disease detected?

Endoscopy: Clinical history, symptoms, bloodwork and imaging can all suggest inflammatory bowel disease. But the diagnosis is only made with both endoscoic and histologic evidence. ...Read more

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Can you die from inflammatory bowel disease?

Can you die from inflammatory bowel disease?

Yes: But this is not common these days. However if the inflammatory process is not treated it can cause severe malnutriton, weight loss, anemia, and possibly progress to toxic megacolon and perforation which is fatal if not diagnosed and treated promptly. ...Read more

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How can I treat inflammatory bowel disease ?

Medications: Variety of medications that will try to down regulate the inappropriate immune response found in ibd. Mesalamine (ie 5asa) products are a mainstay for uc and crohn's colitis. Other medications include immunosuppresant agents such as 6mp, immuran as well as biologic agents such as remicdae or humira (adalimumab). Steroids such as Prednisone are used in severe flares, but a not a long term option. ...Read more

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What are symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease?

Depends: Inflammatory bowel disease generally refers to crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis. Both may give you diarrhea up to 10-20 movements per day, uc usually with blood mixed in, abdominal pain, weight loss, loss of energy and numeropus other associated co morbid conditions. If in doubt see either a colorectal surgeon or GI doctor. ...Read more

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How can inflammatory bowel disease be diagnosed?

How can inflammatory bowel disease be diagnosed?

Usually by : Biopsy at endoscopy if it is colon. If it is ileum or small intestine, contrast x-rays or ct. Blood tests are sometimes helpful but not diagnostic. ...Read more

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What are the tests for inflammatory bowel disease?

Endoscopy w/ biopsy: Clinical history, signs, symptoms, bloodwork and imaging can all be suggestive of ibd; but proper diagnosis is made after endoscopy with histology. ...Read more

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What are best tests for inflammatory bowel disease?

See your doctor: A physical examination by your doctor is a place to start. Sometimes an x-ray such as small bowel series, and referral to a gastroenerologist for endoscopy and/or colonoscopy with biopsies may be indicated. ...Read more

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How exactly is inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed?

How exactly is inflammatory bowel disease diagnosed?

Combination : Medical and family history, exam, lab work (looking for inflammatory markers), tests (ugi, ct, MRI etc), endoscopy w biopsy. They all help narrow the diagnosis. Biopsy is most definitive but not always helpful. ...Read more

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What medicines are treat inflammatory bowel disease?

Many: Gi anti-inflammatory ( 5-asa, mesalamine), steroids (prednisone, budesonide), immunosuppressants (azathioprine, cyclosporine) and biologics (infliximab) are the most common meds used for ibd. Depends on your symptoms and clinical response, combination treatment is common. You need to work closely with your doctor. ...Read more

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Is inflammatory bowel disease an inherited condition?

Is inflammatory bowel disease an inherited condition?

Sometimes: There are genetic factors to inflammatory bowel disease (ibd) and individuals with a first degree family member with ibd have a higher risk of developing ibd in their lifetime. The overall risk is still fairly low (in the 10% range). ...Read more

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How would i know if i had inflammatory bowel disease?

Sometimes it is: Difficult for doctors, even specialists, to determine if you have it or not. So it would be even more difficult for you to figure out on your own. Typical symptoms of crohn's disease or ulcerative colitis would be unexplained abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, fevers, weight loss. It is unpredicatable. Go see a GI specialist. ...Read more

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Bowel (Definition)

The bowel is the intestinal tract in the body. The small intestine ...Read more


Dr. Arthur Heller
460 doctors shared insights

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Definition)

Ongoing inflammation of all or part ...Read more