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About The Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Context:

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) has undergone a significant shift in prevalence in India, as per a recent study published in the Lancet journal.

Relevance:

GS II: Health

Dimensions of the Article:

  1. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
  2. Symptoms and Variability
  3. Causes and Factors
  4. Treatment Approaches

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) comprises a group of chronic inflammatory conditions that impact the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, causing inflammation and damage to the lining of the digestive system. This can lead to a variety of symptoms and complications.

Types of IBD:

Crohn’s Disease:

  • Affects any part of the GI tract, from mouth to anus.
  • Commonly involves the ileum (end of small intestine) and the colon (beginning of large intestine).
  • Inflammation can penetrate deep into bowel layers and may show skip lesions.

Ulcerative Colitis:

  • Impacts the colon and rectum.
  • Inflammation typically begins in the rectum and spreads continuously up the colon.
  • Ulcers form on the inner lining of the colon.

Symptoms and Variability:

IBD symptoms can vary in intensity and include:

  • Abdominal pain and cramping
  • Diarrhea (potentially bloody in ulcerative colitis)
  • Weight loss and loss of appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Fever
  • Rectal bleeding (common in ulcerative colitis)
  • Joint pain and inflammation
  • Skin problems

Causes and Factors:

  • The precise cause of IBD remains uncertain, but it’s linked to a weakened immune system.

Potential factors include:

  • Incorrect immune response to environmental triggers (viruses, bacteria), leading to GI tract inflammation.
  • Genetic predisposition, as individuals with a family history of IBD are more susceptible to the immune system’s inappropriate response.

Treatment Approaches:

  • While there’s no definitive cure for IBD, the condition’s symptoms and inflammation can be managed through various strategies:
  • Reducing inflammation and addressing symptoms are key goals.
  • Treatments may involve medications, surgical interventions, dietary modifications, and lifestyle changes.
  • The aim is to prevent flare-ups and heal both surface and deep inflammation in the intestines.

-Source: The Hindu


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