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Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Causes, Symptoms And Risk Factors

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a broader term which is used to describe a number of disorders which cause inflammation in the digestive tract. There are two kinds of IBD- Ulcerative colitis and Crohns disease.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Causes, Symptoms And Risk Factors

IBD is referred to a number of disorders which cause inflammation in the digestive tract

HIGHLIGHTS

  1. Ulcerative colitis causes long-lasting inflammation and sores
  2. Inflammation in lining of digestive tract is caused by Crohns disease
  3. Any malfunction in the immune system leads to IBD

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a broader term which is used to describe a number of disorders which cause inflammation in the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease are the two kinds of IBD. Ulcerative colitis is a condition which causes long-lasting inflammation and sores in the innermost lining of large intestines or colon, and rectum. Crohn's disease, on the other hand, causes inflammation in lining of digestive tract. This inflammation often worsens and spreads deep into the affected tissues. Both the conditions cause symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss and fatigue.

Also read: Eating Yogurt As An Appetizer Can Reduce Inflammation; 6 Best Anti-Inflammatory Foods For Your Body

Symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease


IBD symptoms depend on how severe the inflammation is and in which places it occurs. Symptoms may range from mild to severe. A person may experience periods of active illness and periods of remission. The signs and symptoms which are common for both Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis are reduced appetite, fever, fatigue, blood in your stool, diarrhea and sudden weight loss despite eating healthy.

eiofmt7oSymptoms of IBD include reduced appetite, fever, fatigue, blood in your stool, diarrhea
Photo Credit: iStock

Causes of inflammatory bowel disease

While the exact cause of IBD is unknown, stress and diet may be influencing factors. Any malfunction in the immune system may also lead to inflammatory bowel disease. When the immune system is working towards fighting a virus or bacteria, any abnormalities in its response may result the immune system to attack cells in the digestive tract. IBD may also be hereditary.

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IBD may lead to unintended weight loss
Photo Credit: iStock

Also read: 7 Causes Of Indigestion You Didn't Know

Risk factors of inflammatory bowel disease

Most people are diagnosed with IBD at 30 years of age. But many don't get it until their 50s or 60s. Certain races have more incidence of IBD as compared to others. Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications and smoking may lead to IBD. A diet high in fat or refined foods or living in industrial areas may be a risk factor for IBD.

Also read: Indigestion Home Remedies: These Are By Far The Best Home Remedies For Indigestion

Complications of IBD

IBD may result in inflammation in skin, eyes and joints. It may lead to skin lesions and even arthritis. The medications for IBD treatment may have certain side effects. They may cause high blood pressure or increase risks for osteoporosis. There may also be inflammation in bile ducts, which in the long-term may result in liver damage. People with IBD are also at increase risks of developing blood clots in veins and arteries. Severe dehydration is another complication of IBD.

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IBD may lead to arthritis in severe cases
Photo Credit: iStock

Crohn's disease may result in thickness of the intestinal walls, thus causing bowel obstruction. Ulcers and anal fissures are other common risk factors of Crohn's disease. Some people might suffer from malnutrition because of Crohn's disease. This is because of conditions like abdominal pain and diarrhea - which may make it difficult for you to eat or absorb certain nutrients.

Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.

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