Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Connecticut

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What is inflammatory bowel disease (IBD)?

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a comprehensive term to describe swelling in your intestines. IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) can be classified into two corresponding but distinct diseases:

  • Crohn’s disease: Crohn's disease creates uncomfortable irritation of your digestive tract, mainly your colon. It is generally found at the end of the small intestine, the start of the colon, and could impact any portion of the gastrointestinal tract from the mouth to the anus.
  • Ulcerative colitis: Ulcerative colitis also manifests itself through irritation of the colon but is usually accompanied by ulcers. This condition is limited to the large bowel.

The gastroenterologists at Connecticut GI can detect and treat inflammatory bowel disease. If you believe you might be experiencing this concern and are seeking treatment for IBD in Connecticut, please get in touch with a location near you to partner with a GI expert.

What causes IBD?

The cause of IBD is often described as an immune system malfunction. Just like when your body properly initiates your immune system to deal with a virus or bacteria, an abnormal immune system trigger can attack the cells in the GI system. As a result, parts of the small bowel and colon become swollen. IBD does have a genetic element and can be handed down from parent to offspring. Risk factors of inflammatory bowel disease include:

  • Tobacco use
  • Family history: Inflammatory bowel disease is connected to being hereditary
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
  • Ethnicity or race: Inflammatory bowel disease is most frequent among Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish descent but can impact anyone
  • Age: Most individuals diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease are below the age of 30
  • Geography: Residing in a well-developed country and/or northern climates may heighten the likelihood of developing inflammatory bowel disease

What are the symptoms of IBD?

Symptoms of IBD will differ based on the condition and its intensity. The standard signs of IBD include:

  • Chronic fatigue
  • Joint discomfort or stiffness
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Change in normal menstrual cycle
  • Fever
  • Rash
  • Undesired weight changes
  • Stomach distress
  • Mouth sores
  • Rectal pain
  • Blood in your stool
  • Discomfort or drainage near or around the anus
  • Urgency to defecate
  • Diarrhea
  • Abrupt weight loss

We encourage you to contact a Connecticut GI specialist if you notice any constant shift in bowel routines or notice any mix of the above symptoms. Call our GI team in Connecticut today to request a consultation.

How is IBD detected?

Inflammatory bowel disease is often found through various techniques, determined by your provider, depending on your symptoms. A colonoscopy or an endoscopy is commonly utilized to detect IBD. In some cases, additional imaging procedures will be conducted, such as MRI, CT, or x-ray.

The primary treatment goal is to lessen the inflammation in your GI system in an effort to eliminate or reduce symptoms. Treatment could eventually result in long-term remission of IBD. Treatments for IBD involve:

  • Anti-inflammatory drugs targeted at an overactive immune system
  • Enteral nutrition (liquid supplements)
  • Antibiotics
  • Surgery
  • Calcium and vitamin D supplements
  • Iron supplements
  • Anti-diarrheal medications
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Is inflammatory bowel disease genetic?

Genetics can influence the chance of developing inflammatory bowel disease for some people. However, you can be genetically prone to getting inflammatory bowel disease but never get the condition. The genetic chance for disease development is greater with Crohn’s disease compared to that of ulcerative colitis.

Does having IBD raise the chance of cancer?

Developing IBD does not mean an individual will develop cancer. But having the disease could heighten the chance of getting colon or rectal cancer. Managing the disease appropriately and controlling inflammation might help lessen the cancer risk. Consult your Connecticut GI gastroenterologist to learn more about the risk of cancer when you have inflammatory bowel disease.

Does my diet affect inflammatory bowel disease?

Certain dietary changes could help lessen some IBD symptoms. This may focus on avoiding foods that trigger bloating, gas, abdominal pain, diarrhea, and other uncomfortable symptoms. Our gastroenterology provider can help you determine a dietary approach that is right for your health.

Will IBD ever go away?

Presently, there is no known cure for inflammatory bowel disease. However, there may be times when the condition is inactive and is in remission. Inflammatory bowel disease and its symptoms may be addressed and managed through medications, supplements, and dietary changes.

Managing your IBD symptoms

Inflammatory bowel disease is not a fatal disease. However, when left out of control and untreated, over time, a person with IBD can increase the risk of developing complications that can be fatal. Furthermore, leaving IBD untreated could lead to a greater chance of developing colon cancer. Featuring a physician-led network of gastrointestinal providers, Connecticut GI offers treatments to help regulate the signs and enhance the lives of those dealing with IBD. To get help for IBD in Connecticut, please contact a GI location near you today.

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Dr. Anjou is amazing! She didn’t stop looking until she found out what was wrong with me. She is so dedicated, kind and understanding. She always gets back to me promptly and never makes me feel bad for asking questions, instead she encourages me to find more information and is always so helpful. Her staff is so wonderful too!

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