What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is an umbrella term used to describe a variety of digestive disorders that result from inflammation in the gut. The two main forms of IBD include Ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. 

Irritable Bowel Disease can affect people in varying degrees, from mild to severe and may include periods of remission. That being said, some of the more common symptoms of IBD include:

  • Unintended weight loss
  • Fever and fatigue
  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Diarrhea
  • Blood in stool
  • Reduced appetite

When should you see a Gastroenterologist?

You should see a doctor if you are frequently experiencing any or all of these symptoms of IBD. Mild symptoms are sometimes easy to overlook or dismiss, especially when followed by periods of remission, but the disease progression is not likely to slow and will not cure itself. More severe symptoms can show signs of a more prominent disease. Many people incidentally treat themselves by avoiding foods that make symptoms worse, but with professional treatment, you can discover freedom from your symptoms. 

Immediately consult with a doctor if you are experiencing these symptoms:

  • Diarrhea at night
  • Rectal bleeding
  • Difficulty swallowing
  • Weight loss (significant and rapid)
  • Persistent pain that isn’t relieved with a stool passing
  • Sudden and unexplained vomiting
  • Gastroenterology with AGH of Greater Washington

Ulcerative Colitis

Ulcerative colitis is a condition that causes chronic sores and inflammation in the innermost lining of the colon and rectum. The condition is caused by your immune system attacking your healthy tissues. While you can reduce symptoms and reduce your risk of getting Ulcerative colitis, there are studies that show that genes may play a role and stress may aggravate the condition. 

Crohn’s Disease

Crohn’s disease is a digestive system disease that can cause any part of the lining of your digestive tract to become inflamed—from your esophagus, stomach, small intestine to your large intestines. Chron’s disease can affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall, making symptoms range from very mild to debilitating. 

While finding a cure for IBD is very difficult, your doctor can prescribe medication—anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppressors, antibiotics, and other over-the-counter medications—to help reduce inflammation and calm your digestive disorder symptoms to bring you into remission

Gastroenterology at AGH of Greater Washington

At AGH of Greater Washington, our gastroenterologists have decades of experience in diagnosing and treating IBD. If you are suffering from an inflamed digestive system, schedule your consultation today.