Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is caused by many factors. When the cause is unknown the disease is considered non-specific. Specific inflammations of the gut are divided into ischemic colitis, infectious colitis, collagenous colitis and celiac disease (gluten intolerance). The onset of inflammations is a consequence of poor diet, a lack of exercise and other factors. Overlooking the problems with digestion and symptoms of bowel inflammations may lead to cancer. Bowel or rectal cancers are regarded as the most common cancers in the world.
Risk factors of IBD
The factors of bowel inflammations can be external as well as hereditary. Age plays a major role in the onset of the disease. Above 50 years of age, the risk factors accumulate due to unfavourable conditions throughout life. Bowel inflammations may also develop in the younger generation. Statistics show that in countries with higher consumption of beer the number of people affected rises. The main risk factor is poor diet which has an impact on the body, the level of vitamins, and thus the function of the digestive system. Reduced function of the immune system and allergic reactions are other potential causes of bowel inflammations. Psychological factors and smoking also play a great part in the development of inflammations. In non-specific bowel inflammations - Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis, the exact causes are unknown, but the probability of bacteria in the gut, overreaction of the immune system, low fibre or excess sugar in the body and hormonal contraception are usually listed.
Signs and symptoms of IBD
Signs and symptoms of bowel inflammations are often confused with digestive disorders. They usually include abdominal pain of various intensity, diarrhoea, ulcers, painful rectum, frequent bowel movements or nausea. Similarly to other inflammatory diseases, fever is also a sign accompanied by a loss of appetite. Bowel inflammations may produce dark red blood or mucus during defecation.
It is advised to avoid all risk factors mentioned above if possible. Diet should contain high fibre food, vitamins, minerals and healthy fat and focus should be on a regular intake of fruit and vegetables. Fluids should include pure water, herbal teas, green teas and fruit or vegetable juices. Smoking and alcohol consumption are discouraged as part of prevention. In relation to the weak immune system and the onset of inflammatory disease, an effective preventative measure is aimed at the boost of immunity using natural products.
Treatment of IBD
Treatment varies depending on a type of IBS. For ulcerative colitis (colon disease) it focuses on regular fluid and mineral intake and no residue diet (although fibre is considered healthy, it is excluded in this case). Treatment is supported by natural food supplements to boost immune system. In non-specific IBS such as Crohn’s disease the treatment is difficult to establish due to the unknown causes. Depending on the course of non-specific inflammations healthy diet is strongly recommended including anti-inflammatory drugs. At acute stages the patient is referred to an outpatient department for care.
Impact of the immune system on IBD
A weak immune system leads to a higher incidence of the inflammatory disease including IBS. A regular boost of the immune system prevents bacteria multiplication in the digestive tract and thus represents an ideal prevention of specific or non-specific bowel inflammations. If the weak immunity is not resolved on time, this may result in chronic intestinal failure or cancer, that are very difficult to treat and often with no avail.