BY DEAN PAPPAS M.D.
Here at Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York, we offer diagnosis, treatment, and relief to people on Long Island who suffer from serious problems that affect their digestive tract. This includes treatment options for colon, rectum, and anal pain of various kinds.
Some of the most serious conditions we treat involve inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Let’s go over the basics of IBD and note some symptoms and risk factors of which people should be aware.
About Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition in which a person experiences chronic inflammation of part of their digestive tract. Sometimes the entire digestive tract is inflamed. There are two kinds of IBD that are typically diagnosed:
- Ulcerative Colitis (UC) – UC results in major inflammation and sores that form around the inner lining of the large intestine, colon, and rectum.
- Crohn’s Disease – Crohn’s disease typically affects the lining of the digestive tract, affecting the small intestine, large intestine, and sometimes both.
Common Signs and Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
The most common signs and symptoms of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) include the following:
- Diarrhea – This is one of the most common symptoms of IBD, whether it involves ulcerative colitis or Chrohn’s disease.
- Abdominal Pain and Stomach Cramps – Pain in the abdominal area often accompanies the other symptoms of IBD.
- Nausea/Vomiting – It’s not uncommon for bouts of nausea to be associated with IBD.
- Blood in Stool – Blood that’s visible in the toilet or in your stool is common with IBD, and it’s possible for there to be blood in the stool that is not immediately visible.
- Changes in Appetite – As a result of the pain and nausea, a person’s appetite may not be what it usually is.
- Loss of Weight – Weight loss can occur as a result of poor appetite and issues with diarrhea.
- Fever – Fevers are typically low-grade for people who suffer from IBD.
- Fatigue – As a result of the various other symptoms, patients with IBD often notice low energy or general fatigue.
Risk Factors for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
The following are important risk factors to keep in mind if you should notice any of the above symptoms and signs of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD):
- Genetics/Family History – If relative suffered from IBD, you are more likely to experience the condition as well.
- Patient Age – IBD is typically diagnosed when a person is younger than 30. While not as common, some people who develop IBD in their 50s and 60s.
- Race/Ethnicity – People of Caucasian descent are more likely to suffer from IBD than people of other other races. Those of Ashkenazi Jewish descent are particularly high risk for IBD.
- The Area You Live – People who reside in urban areas or industrial areas are more likely to suffer from IBD than people who live in other areas. This suggests a number of environmental factors making the condition more likely.
When should I see a doctor?
Persistent issues with the symptoms should be brought to the attention of your general practitioner or a specialist as soon as possible. This will allow you to undergo tests to determine the ideal treatment option for your needs. The sooner you act, the better this will be in the long run to help get the inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) diagnosed and under control.
Contact Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York
For more information about your many treatment options available for serious issues that affect the digestive tract, be sure to contact our colorectal surgery specialists today. The team here at Colon & Rectal Surgical Specialists of New York will work closely with you to ensure your health and wellness is fully restored.