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Doctor insights on: Inflammotory Bowel Disease

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What causes inflammatory bowel diseases?

What causes inflammatory bowel diseases?

Autoimmunity.: Genetic predisposition and interaction with pathogens from the environment conspire to cause ibd, which in essence is an autoimmune disorder. Maternal-fetal cell trafficking across the placenta fuels the theory that most if not all autimmune disorders have their origin in fetal (or maternal) stem cells persisting in various organs and stimulating inflammatory response. Stress does not help! ...Read more

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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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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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?

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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Bowel (Definition)

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