IBD is short for Inflammatory Bowel Disease, and it is a term used by healthcare professionals to describe conditions that affect your digestive tract. The digestive tract includes all the bodily areas that have to do with digestion of the food you eat, and therefore this starts from the mouth from ingestion of food, and ends at the anus, where faeces is excreted. In between the mouth and the anus are several other organs, mainly the stomach and bowels, and it is all these that can be affected with disorders grouped under the term ‘IBD’.
Considering the full term ‘Inflammatory Bowel Disease’, it is fairly easy to figure out that this term describes some sort of inflammation. And that is precisely what this term means; therefore having a diagnosis of IBD simply indicates that there is some sort of inflammation happening somewhere in the digestive tract explained above. This inflammation can be due to several things, and it can also be chronic, meaning that it happens frequently and most times tends to recur after a short period of restoration and feeling better.
Having IBD is a disorder that is most likely going to affect the individual lifelong, with several symptoms which may or may not be present, such as pain in the belly area, change in bowel habits, most often causing diarrhoea and rectal bleeding. Moreover, several other factors may also be coupled with this condition, such as fatigue as the body would not be getting enough nutrients due to the condition itself, and weight loss and anorexia should this be prolonged without treatment.
Nevertheless, this condition is not a death sentence, and its popularity is increasing worldwide (2). There are several treatments available to aid those affected with this condition, and it is important to reach out to a local healthcare provider to keep close monitoring on the condition for each treatment plan is tailored according to the severity and symptoms of each case. Moreover, it is always helpful to inform close family, friends and other healthcare providers when undergoing any other treatments not related to IBD to have both the emotional support and correct holistic healthcare to ensure the well-being of the individual.
In the next blog we will be discussing the different types of IBD that exist and how to distinguish between them.
If you think that you can benefit from professional support on this issue you can reach out here.
Catriona Cutajar is a nurse and also a Fourth year Medical student. She forms part of Willingness Team.
- Lakatos, Peter Laszlo. “Prevalence, Predictors, and Clinical Consequences of Medical Adherence in IBD: How to Improve It?” World Journal of Gastroenterology : WJG 15.34 (2009): 4234-239. Web.