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IBD Faq


Contents


Iíve been told I have an IBD. What does that mean?

IBD stands for inflammatory bowel disease. Although it sounds similar, it is not the same as IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). Basically, IBD means you have chronic inflammation in your digestive tract. IBD includes Crohn's disease (CD) and Ulcerative colitis (UC). It is not fully understood why IBD occurs but it is generally accepted that IBD is the combined result of 4 factors[1]:

1. Genetic Components
2. Environmental Influence
3. Intestinal Microbes
4. Immune Responses
- Adaptive Immunity
- Innate Immunity

Iíve just been diagnosed with an IBD. What now?

One of the most useful things you can do after diagnosis is to keep a food and symptom diary. Although diet does not affect the disease process, many people find that their symptoms can be worsened by certain foods. It is also useful to track how your symptoms change after taking medications, to guide future treatment.

I have a mild case. Will it get worse? Will I need surgery?

It is possible, but not inevitable. A majority of patients will have surgery during their lifetime, but not every patient will require it. Taking a maintenance medication, avoiding stress and triggers such as NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin etc) may help to increase your chances of controlling the disease and avoiding surgery.

What types of Treatment are available for IBD?

Treatment for IBD varies from person to person and can include:

1. Pharmaceutical Treatment
- Anti - Inflammatory Drugs
- Immunosuppressants
- Antibiotics
- Biologic Agents
- Symptomatic Alleviation

2. Diet and Nutrition
3. Surgery
4. Psychological Support

Iím feeling really depressed/ down/ lonely. Does anyone else feel this way?

In a word, yes. After being diagnosed with a chronic illness, it is perfectly natural to experience changes in mood. Some people go through a process similar to grieving, as they mourn the loss of their healthy self. Some people are isolated by their symptoms, because they are no longer able to socialise in the same way. Also inflammation in the body can lead to chemical imbalances in the brain. That's part of the reason this forum is here. The support other members can provide you on an emotional level can be absolutely invaluable. AND, helping others is known to positively affect mood as well. Receive all you need, and when you're ready, give back if you feel a desire to do so.

For more information, see our article on depression.

What should I expect from this drug?

Please look up the drug name here. This contains information about the drug, how it works, and what side effects to look out for. There are also links to discussion pages about the drugs, so you can read our membersí experiences.

Can I deal with this without drugs?

Trying to come out of a flare without the use of drugs is not recommended at all. Some people do choose to go drug free, and try to maintain remission through diet or supplements. However, if these people do relapse, the flare may be worse than if they had taken a maintenance medication. You need to listen to your own body, discuss with your doctor and make the decision that is right for you. Here at Crohnís Forum, we do not advocate any particular course of treatment.

Is there anything else I should know?

NSAIDs (ibuprofen, aspirin etc) are bad for the gut, and are not recommended for use in patients with IBD. Itís a good idea to check with your pharmacist before taking any medicine (including OTC or supplements) to make sure they will not adversely affect you, or interact with any prescribed medication.

References

[pos]1a[/pos]1. Schirbel A, Fiocchi C. Inflammatory bowel disease: Established and evolving considerations on its etiopathogenesis and therapy. J Dig Dis.2010;11(5):266Ė276.


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