Diarrhea, constipation, poor appetite, and abdominal cramps seem to be typical complications that appear not to pose a serious threat. However, if you are enduring such complications, your problem might be complex, just not what you are immediately experiencing. You might be among those suffering from inflammatory bowel disease in San Antonio. This is a condition not to take lightly as it can cause severe inflammation and lead to major complications within your gastrointestinal tract. Fortunately, gastroenterologists such as Robert Narvaez, MD, MBA, of Digestive & Liver Disease of San Antonio PLLC can help you manage the complication.
Understanding Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Inflammatory bowel disease is not one specific complication but a group of disorders associated with the intestines’ inflammation. Although it is thought to be an autoimmune disease, ongoing research suggests that the chronic condition may not result from the immune system attacking the body itself but the immune system attacking a harmless bacteria, food, or virus in the gut.
The two chief types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Crohn’s disease can affect any part of the gastrointestinal tract, while ulcerative colitis is limited to the large intestine or colon. When suffering from IBD, you may experience severe inflammation accompanied by a flare-up of symptoms, and the condition is considered active. You can also experience less inflammation and you may not experience symptoms when the disease is considered to be in remission.
Causes of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
While the definite cause of IBD remains unknown, some agents or combinations of agents are believed to trigger the body’s immune system to produce an inflammatory reaction in the intestinal tract. Recent studies have also shown some combination of genetic, hereditary, and environmental factors that may lead to IBD development. This suggests that the disease can be genetic.
Your body’s tissues can also cause an autoimmune response that can continue without damaging your intestinal walls, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain and diarrhea.
Common Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease
IBD is a chronic complication meaning you can go through stages where the disease flares up, causing symptoms and periods where the symptoms disappear and your good health returns. When you are experiencing the symptoms, they can range from mild to severe depending on the particular part of your intestinal tract that is affected. You may experience:
- Diarrhea that can be bloody
- Abdominal cramps and pain
- Severe urgency to have a bowel movement
- Weight loss
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Loss of appetite
Complications Associated with Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Several severe complications can result from IBD, including:
- Perforation or rupture of the bowel
- Profuse intestinal bleeding from ulcers
- Narrowing and obstruction of the bowel
- Toxic megacolon, an extreme dilation of the colon
- Abnormal passages and perianal disease
Additionally, IBD can also increase your risks for colon cancer, particularly if you have ulcerative colitis. It can also harm other organs, and you can develop arthritis, liver and kidney disorders, inflammation of the eye, bone loss, and skin complications.
If you have suspicious symptoms particularly related to your gastrointestinal tract, please do not hesitate to seek medical attention as soon as possible. You can reach out to the Digestive & Liver Disease Center of San Antonio PLLC to explore more about IBD.