Taking good care of yourself is key to managing digestive disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) said experts speaking at a Digestive Day event held at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH).
People who get abdominal cramps and pain, suffer from frequent and bloody diarrhoea, and are losing weight may have IBD. “It is a young person’s disease, usually affecting people at a time when they are finishing their education, starting a family or building a career,” said Dr Hasnain Shah, Consultant Gastroenterologist, AKUH.
IBD is group of two disorders that cause the intestines to become inflamed over and over again: Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. Although they may have some features in common, they differ in where they occur and what happens. Dr Saeed Hamid, Consultant Gastroenterologist, AKUH, pointed out that Crohn’s disease causes ulcers – open wounds – in the small and large intestines while ulcerative colitis usually occurs in the large intestine and towards the rectal area. “Crohn’s is also more severe as many layers of the intestinal wall get inflamed while in ulcerative colitis, the lining is affected,” he said.
The disorder typically starts with a cramp in the abdomen accompanied by frequent diarrhoea, often with mucus or blood. Dr Shah said that in some cases, the diarrhoea is so severe that a person may become weak and sick and require hospitalisation, greatly impacting their quality of life. Usually, however, the symptoms tend to come and go, and there may be long periods without any symptoms at all.
Read complete via AKU