Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a term used to describe two different conditions: ulcerative colitis and Crohn’s disease. While there is still no know effective cure for these conditions, there are several ways to manage them, one of those being medication.
1. Anti-inflammatory medication: Anti-inflammatory medication is usually one of the initial steps in treating IBD such as Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis. The medications, including sulfasalazine and corticosteroids, can often have side effects that range from skin rashes to temporary infertility in men.
2. Immune suppressants: Immune suppressants stop the immune system from attacking the bowel, in particular by preventing the production of TNF (tumor necrosis factor) which cause inflammation. Immune suppressants may also have side-effects for IBD patients, including skin rashes and infections.
3. Antibiotics: Antibiotics are sometimes used to help kill any bacteria which could be triggering or aggravating a person’s Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis.
4. Medication for diarrhea or constipation: Many inflammatory bowel disease patients struggle with either diarrhea or constipation, so medication for those complications may be given.
5. Healthy diet: Eliminating foods that trigger IBD flares and symptoms is essential. Typically the foods that should be taken off your menu are processed foods and dairy products. People who have Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis are unable to hold onto nutrients from food so they are more likely to be deficient in many important minerals and vitamins. Supplements are often prescribed.
6. Surgery: Sometimes the symptoms of a patient’s IBD are bad enough to require surgery. Sometimes the removal or closure of fistulas is warranted. Crohn’s patients may need portions of their intestines removed. For severe cases of ulcerative colitis, the entire colon and rectum may need to be removed.
IBD News Today is strictly a news and information website about the disease. It does not provide medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. This content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.