Chronic Diarrhea, Chronic Abdominal Pain: Are These the Symptoms of Inflammatory Bowel Disease?

November 16, 2020

The cause of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is currently unknown and indiscriminately poses a risk to all age groups. The two main types of IBD are Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Although these conditions are more commonly seen in individuals in Western countries and the Middle East, in recent years this condition has been increasing in Asian countries. This is due to the changing diets many Asians have been adopting as well as environmental factors.

What Are the Symptoms?  

The symptoms of IBD are similar to the symptoms of other gastrointestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and colitis, which include:

  • Abdominal pain, cramps, and tenderness
  • Constipation and stomach pain
  • Diarrhea, frequent bowel movement; in severe cases, bowel movements can occur up to 10 times a day along with bloody stools
  • Fever, fatigue, weakness, anemia, and unknown weight loss
If you experience these symptoms, please consult your doctor

How is IBD Treated?

Treatment of IBD involves the use of medications with the goal of symptom remission and mucosal healing (healing of intestinal lining, examined through an endoscopy), and bringing the digestive system back to its full health. In order to achieve this, vigilance is required; medications need to be taken on schedule and continued follow-up appointments with doctors is of primary importance. In cases where the medication alone is unable to control symptoms or alternatively if an individual may be experiencing adverse effects from the treatment medications, surgery may be recommended.

For patients with ulcerative colitis, surgical removal of the colon may result in complete cure. However, for patients with Crohn’s disease, as different segments of the large or small intestine can be affected, there is a chance that symptoms may continue after surgery. Furthermore, surgery is chosen as an option in severe cases of Crohn’s Disease where the medication is ineffective or the patient’s intestines become constricted or punctured.


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