What are inflammatory bowel diseases?
They are chronic diseases that inflame the intestines to varying degrees. The main are Crohn's Disease, Ulcerative Colitis, and Indeterminate Colitis.
What are the main symptoms?
In milder forms, the person may experience abdominal pain and change in bowel habits, such as diarrhea or constipation. In the most severe forms, severe pain, rectal bleeding, sudden weight loss, tiredness or weakness, thrush, etc.
Who is more prone to having these diseases?
It is believed that these diseases ail more genetically prone individuals who adopt, in their lifestyle, the use of drugs that transform immunity and modify the intestinal flora.
Do these diseases affect younger or older people?
The diseases usually affect younger patients, in active phase, mainly from 30 or 40 years-old , but they also occur in children and the elderly.
What tests are used to diagnose the diseases?
There are several forms, depending on the symptoms and the doctor's evaluation. Exams such as upper digestive endoscopy and colonoscopy, blood and stool, CT or MRI of the abdomen may be necessary.
How is the treatment made?
With drugs to reduce inflammation and immune response. Some are used when symptoms are more intense, and others for an indefinite period of time to prevent the disease from returning. Immunobiological drugs, given in the form of injections at regular intervals, may also be indicated. Surgery to remove diseased parts of the intestines may be an option when medications do not yield the expected results or when there are complications.
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