Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) in Utah

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Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a generalized label used to describe irritation occurring within the gastrointestinal tract. This condition can be classified into two corresponding but unique diseases:

  • Crohn's disease: Crohn's disease results in uncomfortable swelling of your gastrointestinal tract, specifically your colon. It is generally found at the end of the small intestine or the beginning of the colon and could impact any part of the gastrointestinal tract ranging from the mouth to the anus.
  • Ulcerative colitis: Ulcerative colitis also develops through inflammation of the colon but is usually accompanied by ulcers. It is limited to the large bowel.

The GI physicians at Utah Gastroenterology typically detect and treat IBD. If you think you could be struggling with this issue and require care for inflammatory bowel disease in Utah, please reach out to our practice to partner with a gastrointestinal doctor.

Inflammatory bowel disease usually develops due to problems within the immune system. Just like when your body appropriately triggers your immune system to attack a virus or bacteria, an abnormal immune system response can fight the cells in the gastrointestinal system. As a result, sections of the small intestine and colon become inflamed. Inflammatory bowel disease does carry a genetic element and can be passed down from parent to child. Risk factors of IBD include:

  • Age: The majority of individuals diagnosed with inflammatory bowel disease are diagnosed before the age of 30.
  • Race or ethnicity: Inflammatory bowel disease is most common among Caucasians and people of Ashkenazi Jewish ancestry but can impact anyone.
  • Geography: Living in a well-developed area and/or northern climates may elevate the risk of developing IBD.
  • Nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory pills (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen
  • Tobacco use
  • Family history: Inflammatory bowel disease is connected to being passed down in the genes.

IBD symptoms can differ significantly according to the specific form of IBD you have and how advanced the problem is. The common symptoms of IBD include:

  • Changes in your usual menstrual cycle
  • Mouth sores
  • Sudden loss of weight
  • Unintentional weight loss
  • Chronic fatigue
  • Rectal pain
  • Immediate need to defecate
  • Fever
  • Distress or drainage in the area around the anus
  • Rash
  • Loose stools
  • Constipation
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Blood in your stool
  • Stomach distress
  • Joint discomfort or stiffness

We encourage you to connect with a Utah Gastroenterology GI doctor if you have any persistent shift in bowel routines or notice any mix of the above signs or symptoms. Call our GI practice in Utah today to set up a visit.

Inflammatory bowel disease can be investigated using a range of GI techniques. Your specialist will recommend certain testing procedures based on the symptoms you're experiencing. A colonoscopy or an endoscopy is frequently used to diagnose IBD. Sometimes, alternative imaging assessments will be completed, such as x-rays, MRI, or CT.


What are the treatment options for IBD?

When dealing with inflammatory bowel disease, the main objective is to alleviate any signs of inflammation in the GI tract in order to eliminate or reduce the symptoms you're experiencing. Treatment could, over time, allow for long-term remission of inflammatory bowel disease. Standard IBD treatments include:

  • Surgery
  • Vitamin D and calcium supplements
  • Iron supplements
  • Anti-diarrheal medications
  • Enteral nutrition (liquid supplements)
  • Anti-inflammatory drugs targeted at an overactive immune system
  • Antibiotics
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Is inflammatory bowel disease an inherited condition?

For some individuals, genetic factors can affect the chance of having inflammatory bowel disease. However, a person may be genetically prone to developing inflammatory bowel disease but not ever get the disease. The hereditary risk of disease occurrence is greater with Crohn’s disease when compared with ulcerative colitis.

Can having inflammatory bowel disease increase the risk of cancer?

Being diagnosed with IBD does not mean someone will develop cancer. But having the disorder can increase the chance of getting colon cancer. Managing the disease well and controlling inflammation could help lessen the cancer risk. Consult your Utah Gastroenterology gastrointestinal provider to find out more about the risk of developing cancer with inflammatory bowel disease.

Can dietary factors impact IBD?

Certain dietary changes may help alleviate some IBD symptoms. This may include not eating foods that could elicit abdominal discomfort, bloating, gas, and diarrhea, among other unpleasant symptoms. Your GI team can help you identify a dietary approach ideal for your needs.

Will inflammatory bowel disease ever go away?

There is no known cure for IBD. However, there may be instances when the condition is not active and is in remission. Inflammatory bowel disease and its symptoms may be addressed and controlled through medications, changes to the diet, and supplements.

On its own, IBD is not a deadly disease. However, an individual who has IBD and neglects to treat it may, in time, develop complications that can seriously threaten their health. Furthermore, leaving inflammatory bowel disease uncared for can lead to an increased chance of developing colon cancer. Featuring a highly experienced team of GI doctors, Utah Gastroenterology conducts treatment to help control the symptoms and enhance the lives of those struggling with IBD. To find help for IBD in Utah, please schedule an appointment with our GI practice today.

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