Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Symptoms, Risk Factors, Causes & Treatment

Inflammatory Bowel Disease
| Jan 30, 2023

IBD, which refers to inflammatory bowel disease, is a passing name for conditions that result in chronic inflammatory disease of the gastrointestinal system. When you or a family one has been given an IBD diagnosis, you could feel worried, overburdened, or depressed. This is common. You can also have a lot of concerns regarding your condition and how your future will be. Learn everything you can about inflammatory bowel disease in this article, including its symptoms, causes, risk factors, and treatment.

What Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)?

The term “inflammatory bowel disease” (IBD) consists of a variety of disorders that result in inflammation of the gastrointestinal system (red, swollen, and sometimes painful). Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC) are the two most prevalent IBD forms. These produce comparable signs and symptoms, such as fever, diarrhoea, and stomach pain. Even though it is frequently seen as an autoimmune disorder, research indicates that long-term inflammation might not be brought on by the immune system’s attack on the body. Instead, it is brought on by the immune system’s attack on mild viruses, bacteria, or sometimes food in the stomach, which results in inflammation and intestinal damage.

The mucosa of the colon is diffusely inflammatory in ulcerative colitis. Most frequently, UC attacks the rectum, although it can also involve the sigmoid, further than that (distal ulcerative colitis), or even the entire intestine up to the cecum. Transmural ulceration caused by Crohn’s disease can occur anywhere throughout the digestive tract, but it most frequently affects the colon and terminal ileum. Both disorders are categorised according to their location and severity (severe, moderate, or mild). Inflammatory, structural, or penetrating phenotypes are other classifications for CD.

Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease have numerous other intestinal symptoms outside of the GI tract. While the illnesses can be identified in the majority of patients, through about 10% of patients, overall symptoms were too identical that at first, it is impossible to distinguish between the two conditions. Both conditions have a genetic propensity; they are both incurable and have serious complications. And lastly, both raise the chance of colorectal cancer.

Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease

An individual with inflammatory bowel disease typically experiences moments when the condition flares up and triggers symptoms, followed by intervals when symptoms lessen or vanish and good health returns. The severity of the symptoms varies depending on which area of the digestive tract is affected, and they can be minor to severe. They consist of the following:

  • Fever
  • Severe urgency to have a bowel movement
  • Abdominal pain or cramps
  • Weight loss[1]
  • Iron deficiency due to blood loss
  • Loss of appetite
  • Diarrhoea that may be bloody
  • Gas and bloating

Risk Factors 

Certain consequences are similar between both CD and UC, while some are different in both disorders. Both of these disorders may have the following risk factors:

• Blood clots: The likelihood of internal bleeding within arteries and veins is increased by inflammatory bowel disease.

• Primary sclerosing cholangitis: In both these conditions, our bile ducts get damaged because of the rising inflammation in gastrointestinal tracts. These ducts start getting smaller because of the scarring, which further decreases bile flow. The entire process can potentially harm the liver.

• Severe dehydration: IBD suffers from severe diarrhoea, which causes dehydration in our body.

• Negative effects of medication: With several IBD medications, infection is a possibility. Many individuals have a slim probability of developing specific cancers. Corticosteroids were linked with a higher risk of developing high blood pressure or osteoporosis in contrast to other illnesses.

• Colon cancer: If you suffer from a condition like Ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease that primarily affects your colon, your likelihood of getting colon cancer can rise. Eight to ten years after the initial diagnosis, the first-ever colonoscopy is typically performed as a cancer screening. Ask your doctor how frequently and when you need to have this test performed.

Joint, skin, and eye inflammation: Inflammatory bowel diseases can cause a variety of illnesses, including uveitis (eye inflammation), skin sores, and arthritis, which might flare up.

What Causes Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Certain consequences are similar between Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis and others that are unique to each illness. Both of these disorders may have the following risk factors:

  • Nonsteroidal Anti-inflammatory Medications: These include Diclofenac Sodium, naproxen sodium, and ibuprofen. These drugs may raise the risk of acquiring IBD or make it worse in those who already have it.
  • Cigarette Smoking: The primary preventable risk factor for Crohn’s disease is smoking cigarettes. Smoking cigarettes helps in increasing the probability of ulcerative colitis. It has several negative impacts on your body with not one positive count, but quitting cigarettes can help your gastrointestinal tract overall and have many other medical benefits.
  • Race or Ethnicity: Despite being much more frequent in white people, inflammatory bowel disease can affect persons of any race. Other racial and ethnic groups are also reporting more cases.
  • Age: The majority of IBD sufferers are identified before they are 30. However, some people don’t start showing symptoms till the late 50s or 60s.
  • Family History: If you have any close family member who has the condition, including a parent, brother, or child, your risk increases.


  1. Medicines: Taking one or more medications will frequently be necessary to reduce the inflammatory response in your intestines (bowel). When symptoms are severe, medications may be used to manage them. Once the clinical signs are under control, medications may also be used to maintain your health and lower your risk of flare-ups.
    The following medications are used to treat inflammatory bowel disease:
    • Biologic therapy, such as golimumab, infliximab, and adalimumab. Monoclonal antibodies are the name of these medications. They are typically only prescribed to patients with severe illnesses who have not responded to previous therapies, such as corticosteroids and drugs that suppress the immune system. They ought to be utilised under the guidance of a professional.
    • Medications that impact how the immune system responds, such as methotrexate, azathioprine, or mercaptopurine.
      When symptoms recur severely (relapses), corticosteroids may be given, but they shouldn’t be used to keep a patient in remission.
    • Aminosalicylates
    • It may also be necessary to take additional medications to address pain and changes in bowel habits (diarrhoea and constipation).
  2. Managing stress: It’s crucial to understand how to deal with stress because it can worsen your symptoms. Everyone handles stress differently, but regular exercise and meditation can both be helpful.
  3. Diet: Dietary changes could reduce your symptoms. Dietary recommendations will be based on your symptoms, and it’s important to make sure your diet provides you with adequate energy and nutrition. Therefore, it’s crucial to talk through any dietary recommendations with a nutritionist or your doctor. This dietary guidance can include consuming less fiber-rich foods and eating little, frequent meals. Inflammatory bowel disease can also be treated with a low-residue diet. This is an extremely constrained diet with little fibre. This diet requires a dietician’s supervision but can assist with symptoms, including discomfort and diarrhoea. Because a lower carbohydrate diet does not furnish you with all of the nutrients you need, you will be required to take multivitamins.
  4. Surgery: To treat ulcerative colitis, which only attacks the rectum and colon, a total colectomy must be performed. Not everyone who has ulcerative colitis, however, requires having their bowel replaced. Crohn’s disease surgery may be necessary, but it won’t cure it and might even make things worse. The small bowel (ileum) could be joined directly to your back route (ileoanal anastomosis) if the colon and rectum are completely removed (proctocolectomy), or it may be attached to an aperture at the front of our abdominal wall (ileostomy).

Food to Consume During Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Food to Consume During Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  1. Grains: A low-fibre, low-residue diet may be helpful for IBD patients to treat acute symptoms or minor intestinal constriction. Just rice, rice pasta, potatoes, cornmeal and polenta, oatmeal, and gluten-free bread should be added.
  2. Fruits and Vegetables: Instead of completely ignoring fruits and vegetables, baking and boiling them can make them more palatable and increase their nutritional value. Applesauce, steamed or cooked veggies, cucumbers, bell peppers, peeled bananas, cantaloupe, squash, and pumpkin are all acceptable additions.
  3. Meat and Protein: Your protein choices should be dependent on fat content whenever it refers to IBD flare-ups. The better approach is to use leaner proteins. You must include white meat poultry, eggs, fish, shellfish, peanut butter, tofu, and other soy products.
  4. A2 Cow Milk: Since calcium-rich diets are crucial for IBD patients, drinking a glass of pure A2 milk will also supply other crucial minerals and vitamins in addition to calcium. A2 milk is a nutrient-dense beverage that you may easily consume even when you’re full and can aid in improving bowel movement.

To Sum Up 

All key information about inflammatory bowel disease and its treatment has been covered in this article. The symptoms of IBD will appear and disappear over a long period. They don’t necessarily influence you because of this. The best method to keep as healthy as you can over the long run is to manage your illness with the assistance of your medical professionals. Also, increasing the intake of foods mentioned above will help you live a life free of inflammatory bowel disease.

Read our Article: Common Diseases of Cattle and their Treatment Options: An In-depth Overview


SwadeshiVIP is India's leading A2 milk brand that deals in A2 milk-based products. We are blessed with a team of 20+ researchers and content moderators from the dairy industry. We are aiming to enhance the knowledge of readers and make them understand the value of organic farming, sustainable agriculture methods, and dairy products. With over 40+ Years of combined dairy community experience, we provide the correct and relevant information as per industry standards.

Spread the love