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Ask The Doc: Is Inflammatory Bowel Disease Curable

QUESTION: FOR YEARS, I SUFFERED FROM CRAMPS AND IRREGULAR BOWEL MOVEMENTS BEFORE FINALLY BEING DIAGNOSED WITH IRRITABLE BOWEL DISEASE. WILL THIS EVER GO AWAY? OR WILL I HAVE IBD FOR LIFE?

Answer: Inflammatory Bowel Disease, a condition that causes varying symptoms in everyone, but often involves abdominal cramping, diarrhea or constipation (or both), excess gas, and even blood in the stool, due to bleeding ulcers, is, unfortunately, a chronic condition that does not go away.

IBD is a term that encompasses a couple of conditions: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. While the two conditions are distinct, both cause inflammation in different parts of the gastrointestinal tract and can result in a lot of discomfort. It’s unknown what causes these conditions – a combination of a person’s genes and their environment are thought to contribute – but certain triggers can cause inflammation which then leads to unpleasant symptoms.

While there currently is no cure for IBD, there are treatments that can help manage it. Medications, changes in diet and lifestyle (such as quitting smoking or reducing stress – two well-known triggers), and even surgical options are available to help manage symptoms of IBD. And, many people go through periods of remission in which they experience no symptoms or flare-ups. With IBD, remission is really the goal.

Learn more about IBD and treatment approaches by clicking here.

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