What is Inflammatory Bowel (Crohn's) Disease?
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is the term used for a collection of disorders where the intestines become red and swollen (inflamed). This happens when an immune reaction of the body is against its own intestinal tissue. Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two kinds of inflammatory bowel disease. Crohn’s disease can affect the colon or the small intestine and it also involves any part of the gastrointestinal tract and results in malnutrition, abdominal pain and severe diarrhea. Ulcerative colitis affects the large intestine (colon). This disease results in continuing inflammation in part of the digestive tract.
Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
When IBD flares up in the case of chronic diseases, it can lead to different symptoms that can sometimes disappear or decrease and a person can return to their normal health. The symptoms of IBD vary from mild to severe depending upon which part of the intestinal tract is concerned. Some of the symptoms are –
- Loss of appetite
- Diarrhea that could be bloody
- Weight loss
- Abdominal pain and cramps
- Iron deficiency anemia due to blood loss
- Severe urgency to have a bowel movement
Causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
There is no exact cause of IBD. However, the disease could be due to malfunctioning of the body’s immune system. Ulcerative Colitis and Corhn’s disease both can be seen in the family history of patients. Few environmental factors can also be responsible for causing ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. IBD can also be influenced by psychological, infectious, immunologic and genetic factors.
Diagnosis for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The tests depend on the symptoms of IBD that include –
Complete Blood Count
- If a patient has severe bleeding then hemoglobin level may drop and the count of the red blood cells decrease.
- An inflammation in the body occurs when there is an increase in the count of white blood cells.
- The presence of blood traces in the stool can only be examined through a fecal occult blood test.
- A stool is properly examined for eliminating the possibilities of parasitic, viral or bacterial causes of diarrhea.
Colonoscopy : This helps in examining the entire colon.
- Lower Gastrointestinal Tract : In this test, a barium is given in the form of an enema which retains in the colon and the x-rays can be taken. Through this, colon in patients having ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease and also abnormalities in the rectum can also be noticed.
- Upper Gastrointestinal Tract : The test is used for finding abnormalities in the upper gastrointestinal tract. A patient is required to swallow a chalky white substance known as barium. This barium helps in coating the inside of the intestinal tract which can further documented on x-rays.
Sigmoidoscopy : The last one-third part of the large intestine can be visualized by using a sigmoidoscope. This one-third part includes the sigmoid colon and the rectum. The test helps in examining bleeding, ulcers and inflammation.
Upper Endoscopy : An endoscope is used if a patient has gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and nausea. The duodenum, esophagus and stomach are examined using an endoscope.
Treatments for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Surgical or medical treatments are available for inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Both the types of IBD- ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease can be treated with the help of several drugs. Surgery is the last option available and it depends upon the type of inflammatory bowel disease. It is possible to ulcerative colitis through surgery. Certain drugs can also be used for treating IBD.
Robot Surgery for Inflammatory Bowel Disease
DA Vinci robotic surgery is a minimally invasive procedure that involves less scarring, small incisions and also results in quick recovery. The robotic surgery provides the best results in the treatment of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. This procedure involves patented surgical instruments, state of the art surgical platform and high definition vision. The procedure reduces the side effects of inflammatory bowel disease.
Benefits of Inflammatory Bowel Disease Treatment
After the treatment of IBD, there is a drastic improvement in the health related quality of life of a patient. The health related quality of life is seen in both the cases of ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease.
Tubular connections between the skin, the bowel or other organs are termed as intestinal fistulas. The formation of the fistulas happens when there is extended inflammation through every layer of the bowel. Then fistulas proceed to tunnel through other tissue layers. Fistulas are numerous and is more commonly seen in Crohn’s disease. Fistulas can link the bowel to the skin around the anus, to the abdominal wall, to other loops of the bowel and also with internal locations like scrotum, vagina, urinary bladder and muscles.
Cost of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
The IBD treatment in India is very affordable and provides best medical guidance and services to its patients.