Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a medical condition that causes the walls of the intestines and digestive tract to become swollen and inflamed.
When nothing is done to correct this condition for a long period of time, then ulcers can begin to develop.
Ulcers bring with them a whole host of additional problems including pain in the abdomen, diarrhea, bloody stools, fatigue, loss of appetite, weight loss or a fever.
The Two Most Common Forms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
IBD commonly comes in two forms – ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. The symptoms of these two disorders can seem much the same and it can be really difficult for the doctor to ascertain a correct diagnosis.
In addition, inflammatory bowel disease is often misdiagnosed as Irritable Bowel Syndrom (IBS).
Ulcerative colitis causes the rectum and colon become inflamed whereas Crohn’s disease has a tendency to show up anywhere along the digestive tract and can give you problems when it comes to absorbing foods, vitamins and nutrients.
Other inflammatory bowel diseases include collagenous colitis, lymphocytic colitis, and diversion colitis.
The Causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
There has been no exact reason identified for why IBD occurs, although here has been a lot of research into factors that could make a person more likely to develop it. As you probably know, a damaged or weakened immune system makes it easy for infections to spread.
But for people with inflammatory bowel disease, the immune system actually overreacts to something in the digestive system and causes ongoing inflammation, ulcers, and other problems.
Medical researches believe that a virus or bacterium may be what causes the immune system to react this way.
If someone in your family has suffered with inflammatory bowel disease then there is a high probability that you will also.
Women are more likely to develop IBD where genetic ties are concerned, while individual of Jewish descent carry this special gene which means they are much more likely to develop IBD than most other people.
Having a lifestyle where you are not physically active, being in a higher socioeconomic bracket or living in a developed country are all factors which make it more likely that you will suffer with inflammatory bowel disease at some point in your life. Cigarettes, stress and some types of food can also contribute to it.
Tips for Preventing Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
* Eat a high-fiber diet of whole grain bread, whole wheat pasta, brown rice, fruit, vegetables, dried fruit and nuts (NOTE: Some individuals find that wheat products worsen their symptoms).
* Include protein such as lean meats and fish in your diet to relieve symptoms of IBD.
* Try to eat small, frequent meals – even during a flare-up.
* Regular exercise helps to reduce stiffness, maintain joint motion, and strengthen the muscles around the joints.
* Drink a lot of fluid and at least 8-10 glasses of water every day to help keep the body hydrated and also to help prevent constipation.
* Stay away from foods containing lactose if you are lactose intolerant.
* Curb your intake of caffeine and alcohol, as these may aggravate symptoms.
* Increase your intake of multivitamins and fish oil capsules to replace nutrients lost via malabsorption problems caused by IBD.
* Limit gas-producing foods such as onions, dried peas and lentils, chives, broccoli, and carbonated drinks.
* Practice deep breathing exercises to encourage motion of the ribs.
* Stop smoking in a natural manner, as smoking has been known to worsen this condition.
Treatment Options for Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
The treatment plan the doctor lays out for you will depend on how severe your symptoms are but usually involve medication, diet changes and getting plenty of exercise. You can pick up some laxatives and pain killers at the drugstore for milder episodes.
Herbs can also help to keep your digestive system operating smoothly. German Chamomile can help with the inflammation and calm you both mentally and physically.
Meadowsweet can actually lower the amount of acid your stomach makes and offers the digestive tract protection.
Slippery Elm helps to take away the pain you get when digesting a particularly large meal. Cancer Bush can be taken to address stomach complaints whether they are chronic or acute.
Herbal Help for IBS/IBD, Crohn’s, Gastritis, GERD, Colitis and Divericulosis
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