Both Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis belong to a category of diseases known as inflammatory bowel disease. Both these diseases affect your bowel in different ways. Crohn’s disease refers to an inflammatory disorder that affects the full thickness of the bowel in any part of the digestive tract. Ulcerative colitis, on the other hand, refers to the inflammation of the inner lining of the bowel.
According to an estimate, these diseases have been generally affecting people aging between 15 and 30. These disorders, however, can occur at any age. What’s alarming is that Crohn’s disease is becoming more prevalent in children under the age of nine.
The good news is that there are several ways to treat or manage symptoms of IBD, and patients with these conditions can live a healthy life without getting bothered by the symptoms. While IBD doesn’t begin due to a specific food intake, you can manage it well through dietary changes.
Effects of these diseases
Every person responds to IBD differently. The severity of this disease can vary from person to person and from time to time. It may be worth mentioning this health condition is not progressive, meaning that it doesn’t get worse eventually. It can rather result in flare-ups, which can be rather painful in some cases. The level of discomfort during a flare-up may vary from mind to severe. How quickly a patient responds to treatment can also vary.
A few signs of IBD may include the following.
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Delayed body growth in children
The exact reason for inflammatory bowel disease is not yet known. Some medical experts, however, believe that it may be due to the malfunctioned immune system. A bacterial or viral infection may also be the reason. Most studies suggest that stress and diet are not the reasons behind this disorder.
Your doctor may use several tests and diagnostic procedures to find out if you have IBD. These tests and diagnostic measures include blood tests, fecal examination, colonoscopy, x-rays test, and gastroscopy. In some cases, the doctor may suggest a CT scan, MRI, or ultrasound.
Your doctor will formulate a treatment plan based on the disease you have. Treatments for Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis are different. The treatment options may include the following.
- Medications to manage or prevent flare-ups
- Steroid medication
- Medication to control hyperactivity of the immune system
- Corrective surgery to treat complications
Since IBD is not caused by diet and food allergies, any specific dietary change doesn’t have to be a long-term one. You may, however, have to speak to your doctor if you need to stick to a diet plan or a diet routine. Chances of malnutrition are always there because this condition can cause changes in dietary habits pretty negatively.
Your doctor will also analyze if you have developed a problem absorbing any specific nutrient due to this condition. In that case, you may have to get medication to treat that absorption issue.
You can speak to your doctor regarding which dietary and lifestyle change you need to work on to live without any discomfort.