Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is an autoimmune condition when our body's immune system starts to attack healthy lining of intestines. The exact cause is unknown, but it does have a genetic predisposition. Normal age groups affected are either 20-40s, or it can be late onset in 60-70s.
IBD is mainly divided into two conditions - Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's Disease.
Ulcerative Colitis (UC)
Ulcerative colitis normally affects large intestine (colon) and presents as symptoms of blood mixed diarrhoea. A colonoscopy is usually required to take biopsies and confirm diagnosis. Medical treatment starts from 5ASA to topical or systemic steroids, and sometimes has to be escalated to higher group of immunosuppressants like cyclosporin etc. Failure of medical treatment, dependence on steroids or any complication like perforation or extensive bleeding may need surgery.
Surgery for any form of colitis (IBD) is extensive and may result in total loss of colon and a stoma bag.
Crohn's disease is a form of IBD which can affect any part of gastro-intestinal system from mouth to anus. Usual sites of involvement are the terminal part of small intestine. It can also cause perineal disease like complex fistula.
Symptoms are many - abdominal pains, mouth ulcers, weight loss, diarrhoea, and rectal bleeding.
Treatment starts with medicines and immunosuppressants. Failure of medical treatment or presence of intestinal fistulae, strictures or obstruction may need surgery when bowel resections are performed