What is Bowel ? and What is a Bowel disease ?
Like any other disease, you cannot link a possible reason for bowel-related ailments. There can be multiple or single factors contributing to inflammatory bowel diseases, including Crohn’s Disease and ulcerative Colitis. Your bowel is the last part of the digestive tract through which food passes before it exits from the body. A bowel ailment can be chronic or temporary, depending on the root cause and its diagnosis. Food habits, way of living, pre- existing diseases, and genetics are common contributors to bowel disease. The food habit apart from what is being eaten also includes the eating timings, which most people often ignore.
Types of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Crohn’s Disease: In Crohn’s disease, the inflammation affects the entire wall of the bowel, even the deep inner areas. One of the key characteristics of Crohn’s disease is that movement of the bowel may be abrupt, and it may inflame several regions, but other segments may be safe.
Ulcerative Colitis: In ulcerative colitis, the inflammation involves only the upper layers of the bowel walls. Involvement is limited to the colon and rectum.
What are the causes of Inflammatory bowel disease ?
It’s difficult for the doctors to pen down the apparent culprit behind bowel disease, including inflammatory bowel disease. Still, studies reveal that diet and work-life imbalances have been the usual reasons. But often, the weak immune system fails to intercept the incoming virus and bacteria and leads to the aggravation of the disease. There is no apparent consensus on the genetic reasons behind bowel diseases, but researchers have confirmed that genetics play a role. A research on the causes behind Crohn’s disease (it’s a type of bowel disease which causes inflammation in the bowel) upheld the genetic link behind the cause. The study and its results were reproduced in Medical News Today.
Often the imbalance of Friendly bacteria leads to bowel diseases. Recently, scientists have claimed that the absence of a Probiotic strain of bacteria in the intestine leads to increased inflammation.
The food market is flooded with lots of adulterated materials. Consequently, we end up consuming lots of unwanted foodstuffs. The most common being food dyes that claim to be edible. Studies have reported that these dyes end up causing bladder inflammation.
What are the Symptoms and Signs of IBD ?
The symptoms can be acute or mild and include:
- Inflammation of the eyes
- Night sweats
- Skin disorder
- Abdominal pain
- Blood while clearing the bowel
- Reduced hunger
- Unusual weight loss
- Regular and unusual urgency for bowel movement
- Irregular Periods in female
- Gas and bloating
How is IBD Diagnosed ?
It is advised to diagnose inflammatory bowel disease only after dismissing other possible causes for your signs and symptoms. To confirm the presence of inflammatory bowel disease, the following procedure is applied:
- Tests for infection: A detailed blood report would depict the presence of bacteria or viruses leading to symptoms. Generally increased white blood cells counts are a fair indication of the existence of Infection.
- Stool Samples: You may need to provide a stool sample so that your doctor can test for hidden blood or parasites in your stool.
- Endoscopic procedures
- Colonoscopy: This procedure enables the doctor to view your entire colon using a tube. The tube is fitted with a camera and also takes tissue samples for Biopsy. Instead of complete Colonoscopy, Flexible Sigmoidoscopy is preferred where only rectum and sigmoid, which happen to be the end of the rectum, is tested.
- Upper endoscopy: As the name suggests, in this case, a thin and flexible tube fitted with a camera is inserted via the windpipe. This procedure is often not recommended and is used only when the patient has a feeling of nausea and vomiting, difficulty digesting, or upper body pain.
- Capsule endoscopy: Here, the patient swallows the capsule, which is fitted with a camera. The images taken by it are transmitted to a receiver, and ultimately the capsules exit the body in the stool without causing any pain. If the patient is suffering from constipation, then this procedure is not recommended.
Other Procedures which are relatively less followed are:
X-rays: The doctor may use them to rule out serious complications not related to bowel disease.
CT scan: The principle behind using CT scan is the same as X-rays, but it gives highly detailed images compared to X-rays.
MRI: An MRI uses a magnetic field and radio waves to develop high-definition pictures of internal organs. Unlike CT scan, here there is no risk of radiation.
Risk of further Complications If undiagnosed, the bowel disease may lead to severe complications such as Fistula Bowel cancer
What are the treatment options for IBD ?
The treatment of bowel disease involves usage of both enhanced therapies and medication and up-gradation of prior treatments. A Better understanding of the immune system and hereditary links has contributed a lot to the process. The key pursuit of the treatment happens to be getting rid of complications and reduced symptoms. The treatment includes: Medication: Initially, when less aggressive symptoms are revealed, medications are prescribed. These medications include anti-inflammatory drugs, which reduce inflammation in the colon region, followed by steroids, specifically Corticosteroids. Its usages should be monitored and never prolonged. Lastly, antibodies can be uses to target bacteria and viruses.
Surgery: Surgery may be resorted to remove affected areas of the colon and rectum. This is common for patients suffering from fistula.
Food habit changes: Following a diet chart prepared by a doctor is always recommended.
Limiting milk products, fat-based foods, caffeine and alcohol, are the common dietary changes recommended.
Avoidance of Bowel disease: There is no clear reason behind the disease’s cause, but it can be reduced significantly by exercising and eating healthy.
Pelvic floor therapy: This exercise is recommended after surgery to realign the pelvic floor muscle and train the adjacent organs and muscles.
If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned above, get in touch with Midas Hospitals for a speedy recovery. The symptoms, whether mild or acute, should not be ignored and must be addressed immediately. Early diagnosis can save the patient from severe complications.
When is the right time to see the doctor?
If you face symptoms as mentioned above, mild or severe, you should immediately consult a doctor without delay.
Do eating and drinking habits cause bowel disease?
No. The diseases are not caused by diet. The body creates inflammation or irritation (ulcers) in the bowels because the immune system is imbalanced. However, certain foods may augment the symptoms.