What is Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (or IBD) refers to disorders that cause chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal (GI) tract.

It is slightly more common in women than men. IBD usually starts in early adulthood but can occur at any age. Up to three million Americans have some form of IBD.

Concorde Medical Group specializes in the treatment of IBD and other gastrointestinal conditions. Our gastroenterologists will discuss your symptoms and determine the type of IBD that you’re experiencing and what treatment options will work best for you. To visit our GI clinic in NYC, please call (212) 889-7880 or request an appointment online.

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Types of IBD

IBD includes Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Both types affect the digestive system. In both cases, there is chronic inflammation of the intestines.

Some symptoms may overlap between both types of IBD, but there are a few key differences.

Crohn’s disease

In Crohn’s disease, the inflammation can appear anywhere in the digestive tract, from the mouth to the anus, but most commonly affects the end of the small bowel (ileum) and the beginning of the colon. It can affect the entire thickness of the bowel wall. Inflammation of the intestine can “skip”, or normal areas in between inflamed spots.

Ulcerative colitis

In Ulcerative colitis, inflammation affects only the large intestine. It affects only the innermost lining of the colon. With ulcerative colitis, there are no healthy areas in between inflamed spots.

What are Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

With both types of IBD, you may have periods of normalcy and other times when symptoms disrupt your daily life.

Everyone experiences some GI issues from time-to-time. However, if you are experiencing abnormal GI symptoms for more than a few days, it might be time to talk to your healthcare provider or a gastroenterologist, such as:

  • Abdominal pain and stomach cramps
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Change in bowel movement
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Chronic constipation or constipation alternating with diarrhea
  • Urgent bowel movements
  • Bloody bowel movements
  • Mucus in stool
  • Frequent urge to have bowel movements (tenesmus)
  • Fatigue
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss

We do not know what causes IBD, but some triggers may include:

  • Infections
  • Environmental stress
  • Medications
  • Family history or genetics

How Will I Know if I Have Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

If you have or are worried you may have IBD, talk to your gastroenterologist about your symptoms. It can be frustrating to live with these complications, and your doctor can perform several screenings to get the answers you need.

Seek medical attention if you have:

  • Blood in your stool
  • Extreme weight loss
  • Change in bowel habits

These may be symptoms of IBD, but our gastroenterologists will also screen for cancer or Celiac Disease.

You may also have symptoms similar to IBD, but with no inflammation. In this case, you may have Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS). With IBS, there is no sign of disease or abnormality during an exam of the colon.

Ruling out other conditions can get you on the road to recovery. Based on your symptoms, stool tests, or blood tests, you can find the cause for your discomfort.

Your GI provider may also examine the lower part of your large intestines. This is a test called sigmoidoscopy. A sigmoidoscopy may be used to examine or diagnose certain conditions or structures in your lower colon.

Medications and Surgical Treatments for IBD

Concorde Medical Group will work with you to find a combination of treatment options that help control your IBD and help you to live a normal life.

Some medications to treat IBD include antibiotics to treat infections, anti-inflammatory medicine, biologics, corticosteroids to manage flares, immunomodulators to calm an overactive immune system, antidiarrheal medication, or probiotics including vitamins and supplements.

Even with proper medication and diet, as many as 70% of people with Crohn’s disease will require surgery at some point during their lives. Surgery may include a bowel resection to remove the part of the bowel that is diseased and connect two healthy ends of the bowel together.

With Ulcerative colitis, about 1 in 3 people may need surgery if medical therapy is not completely successful or complications arise. Surgery may include removing the colon and/or rectum and connecting your small intestine and the anus. You then have a pouch that collects stool and exits through the anus. This procedure usually cures you of the disease.

How Can I Find an IBD Provider?

If you have IBD you can still enjoy an active, normal life. With the right medical care, you can manage symptoms and no longer have digestive issues getting in the way.

It is important to find a provider you trust to join you on your journey with IBD.

Give us a call. We want to set you up for success with the proper diagnoses then develop a treatment plan that works for you. If you need potential surgery, we will talk you through your options, and we will be there each step of the way.

Schedule Your IBD Consultation in NYC Today

IBD is a lifelong condition, and we are here to help you with lifelong treatment and follow-up care. If you have symptoms of IBD, please contact Concorde Medical Group to discuss your diagnosis and the treatment options best for you at our GI clinic in Kips Bay. To schedule an appointment with our gastroenterologists, please call (212) 889-7880 or request an appointment online today.

Request an Appointment