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Inflammatory bowel disease: find out what it is and what the symptoms are

Inflammatory bowel disease: find out what it is and what the symptoms are

Inflammatory bowel disease: find out what it is and what the symptoms are

The expert warns about inflammatory bowel diseases and the importance of early diagnosis

Millions of Brazilians suffer daily from abdominal pain, diarrhea, fatigue and other debilitating symptoms caused by inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Despite affecting the quality of life of many people, these conditions are still little known by the population.

According to gastroenterologist and digestive system surgeon Guilherme Berenhauser Leite, Delay in seeking medical care can lead to serious and irreversible complicationsreinforcing the need to speak openly about these diseases that silently harm health and quality of life.

Symptoms and consequences

Inflammatory bowel disease can cause everything from manageable symptoms to serious complications. In addition to manifestations such as abdominal pain and diarrhea, these conditions can impact the eyes, joints, skin, liver and fertility. The doctor says one of the most challenging features of IBD is its unpredictable nature.

“Patients may experience periods of remission, in which symptoms diminish or disappear completely, followed by periods of relapse, in which symptoms worsen and require intensive treatment,” comments the doctor. Managing these fluctuations can be emotionally and physically taxing for patients and their families.

Major IBD

  • Crohn’s disease: It can affect any part of the digestive system, from the mouth to the anus, causing symptoms such as abdominal pain, diarrhea, weight loss, fatigue and even complications such as strictures and fistulas.
  • Ulcerative colitis: It mainly affects the colon and rectum, causing similar symptoms, such as bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramps, and urgency to pass stools.

Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis and treatment of IBD can be complex. “The symptoms are often similar to those of other gastrointestinal diseases, which can delay the diagnosis,” adds the gastroenterologist. Once diagnosed, IBD is treated with a combination of medications, including anti-inflammatories, immunosuppressants, and biologic therapies, as well as diet and lifestyle changes.

However, despite the challenges, there is hope for patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Significant progress has been made in the diagnosis, treatment and understanding of these diseases. New therapies are being developed to control inflammation and improve patients’ quality of life.

Additionally, awareness about IBD is increasing, leading to better understanding and support for those living with these conditions. “It is important that patients with suspected IBD seek medical attention as soon as possible. An early diagnosis and an adequate treatment plan can help minimize symptoms and prevent long-term complications,” concludes the doctor.

Source: Terra

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