Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Florida
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What is IBD (inflammatory bowel disease)?
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a common label to describe swelling in your digestive tract. Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is generally categorized into two corresponding but unique diseases:
- Crohn’s disease: Crohn's disease creates uncomfortable swelling of the digestive tract, namely your colon. It is usually at the base of the small intestine, the beginning of the colon, and may affect any area of the GI tract from the mouth to the anus.
- Ulcerative colitis: Ulcerative colitis also develops through swelling of the colon but is usually accompanied by ulcers. This condition is limited to the colon.
Our gastrointestinal specialists at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida typically detect and treat inflammatory bowel disease. If you believe you might be experiencing this concern and are in need of treatment for inflammatory bowel disease in Florida, please contact us to connect with a GI specialist.
What causes inflammatory bowel disease?
The reason for IBD is often classified as an immune system issue. Just like when your body properly stimulates your immune system to deal with bacteria or a virus, an abnormal immune system response can fight the cells in the digestive tract. As a result, portions of the small intestine and colon become swollen. IBD does maintain a genetic component and can be passed down from parent to offspring. Risk factors of inflammatory bowel disease include:
- Age: Most people diagnosed with IBD are lower than the age of 30.
- Geography: Residing in an industrialized area and/or northern regions may enhance the likelihood of developing inflammatory bowel disease.
- Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pills (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
- Race or ethnicity: Inflammatory bowel disease is most frequent among Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry but can impact people of any race.
- Family history: IBD is associated with being passed down in the genes.
If you have any of the current risk factors listed above, schedule a consultation with our GI providers at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida.
What are the symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease?
Signs of IBD will differ in accordance with the disease and its severity. The standard signs of IBD include:
- Blood in your stool
- Loss of normal menstrual cycle
- Abrupt weight loss
- Rectal discomfort
- Discomfort or drainage near or around the anus
- Joint ache or stiffness
- Mouth sores
- Urgency to defecate
- Loose stools
- Chronic exhaustion
- Stomach distress
- Abdominal pain
- Unintentional weight loss
You should contact a Gastroenterology Associates of Florida GI doctor if you notice any persistent change in bowel routines, or notice any combination of the above indicators. Call our GI team in Florida today to schedule a consultation.
How is IBD diagnosed?
Inflammatory bowel disease can be identified through various approaches, determined by your doctor depending on your symptoms. A colonoscopy or an endoscopy is commonly utilized to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease. In some cases, other imaging evaluations will be carried out, such as X-ray, CT, or MRI.
How is IBD treated?
The primary treatment goal is to minimize the inflammation in your GI system to reduce or eliminate symptoms. Treatment at Gastroenterology Associates of Florida could, over time, lead to long-term remission of IBD. Treatment options for IBD include:
- Anti-diarrheal medications
- Enteral nutrition (liquid supplements)
- Calcium and vitamin D supplements
- Anti-inflammatory drugs targeted at an overactive immune system
- Iron supplements
Inflammatory Bowel Disease FAQs
Is inflammatory bowel disease genetic?
For some patients, genetics can play a role in the development of inflammatory bowel disease. However, someone can be genetically predisposed to having inflammatory bowel disease yet not ever develop the condition. The hereditary risk of disease occurrence is higher with Crohn’s disease compared to that of ulcerative colitis.
Can inflammatory bowel disease increase the chance of developing cancer?
The presence of inflammatory bowel disease does not indicate that someone will develop cancer. However, having it could raise the likelihood of colon cancer development. Managing IBD well and controlling inflammation might help minimize the cancer risk. Talk with your Gastroenterology Associates of Florida provider to discover more about the risk of developing cancer with IBD.
Does diet impact IBD?
Making changes to your diet might help minimize some inflammatory bowel disease symptoms. This might involve cutting out foods that may elicit diarrhea, gas, bloating, abdominal pain, and additional uncomfortable symptoms. Your GI team can help you identify a dietary approach ideal for your health.
Will IBD ever go away?
There is no known cure for inflammatory bowel disease. But there may be times when the condition becomes inactive and falls into remission. Inflammatory bowel disease and its symptoms may be treated and managed via medications, supplements, and dietary changes.
Living with IBD?
Inflammatory bowel disease is not a mortal disease. However, when left out of control and untreated, over time, an individual with IBD might create complications that could be deadly. Moreover, leaving inflammatory bowel disease uncared for can lead to an increased chance of developing colon cancer. Featuring a physician-led network of gastrointestinal specialists, Gastroenterology Associates of Florida offers treatment options to help regulate the symptoms and elevate the lives of those living with inflammatory bowel disease. To get help for IBD in Florida, please get in touch with our GI providers today.
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