Ilyas Memon, MD

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Oct 25, 2019

What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Find out if IBD could be causing your stomach pain, bloating and other intestinal issues. 

Find out if IBD could be causing your stomach pain, bloating and other intestinal issues. 

Inflammatory bowel disease refers to a variety of gastrointestinal conditions that cause long-term inflammation, and can even eventually damage the GI tract. The two most common types of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Read on to learn more about these intestinal diseases, and contact your gastroenterologist in both Woodlands and Conroe, Dr. Ilyas Memon, if you are in need of treatment!

What is Crohn’s disease? 

This chronic condition causes inflammation of the digestive tract. Anywhere from the mouth to the anus can be affected, although symptoms most often appear in the colon or small bowel. There are several different types of Crohn’s disease and symptoms can range from mild to severe.

What is ulcerative colitis? 

With this chronic intestinal condition, only the large intestines (the colon and rectum) are affected (more specifically, the inner lining of the colon). Just as the name suggests, not only does this disease cause inflammation of the large intestines but it can also cause ulcers.

What are the signs and symptoms of IBD? 

The severity of the symptoms will vary from person to person. Some people will experience bouts of remission, during which symptoms clear up, only to return again later. Both ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease share the following symptoms:

  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal cramping and pain
  • Blood in the stool
  • Decreased appetite
  • Unexpected weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Mild fever

When should I see a doctor? 

If you are noticing recurring changes in your bowels (e.g. diarrhea), blood in the stool, or other warning signs of IBD, then it’s time to visit either our Woodlands or Conroe office to find out what’s going on. IBD can be serious and lead to severe complications, so it’s important that you get the proper care you need to manage your symptoms.

How is IBD treated? 

When it comes to creating a treatment plan, the goal is simple: We need to treat and get rid of inflammation. Your treatment plan may include lifestyle changes, anti-inflammatory medications (e.g. corticosteroids), immunosuppressant medications, pain relievers, anti-diarrhetics, and certain supplements.

With IBD, our gastroenterologist may also recommend a specific diet to reduce, and hopefully alleviate, flare-ups. Diets will usually involve consuming softer, bland foods that your intestines can easily digest and won’t irritate or exacerbate inflammation. Some supplements and vitamins may also be prescribed to take along with your diet to make sure that you are getting the proper nutrients.

If your IBD doesn’t respond to lifestyle changes, medications, or other nonsurgical treatments, only then will surgery be recommended to remove part of the intestinal tract.

Need treatment? Give us a call

If you are experiencing symptoms of IBD, it’s important that you get diagnosed as soon as possible to get your symptoms under control and to prevent long-term complications. Here at Greater Houston Gastroenterology in Woodlands and Conroe, TX, we can help you manage your IBD symptoms—call either office today at 281-764-9500.