The inflammatory bowel disease denotes a group of idiopathic chronic gastrointestinal disorders and is characterized by the inflammation or swelling and ulceration of the gastrointestinal tract. The other symptoms of this medical condition include abdominal pain, watery diarrhea, bloody stool, and weight loss. Irritable bowel syndrome is another abdominal disorder that is characterized by many symptoms, including abdominal bloating, cramping, pain, and diarrhea. This is not a serious disease, but can cause constant uneasiness and agony to the patient.
The most widespread inflammatory bowel diseases are ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. Unlike irritable bowel syndrome, the inflammatory bowel diseases, including ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, are very serious medical conditions and at times can result in life-threatening situations. Ulcerative colitis typically causes inflammation and ulcers or sores on the inmost lining of the large intestine or colon. This is a hereditary disease and is usually found in the age group of 30s, although it can happen at any age, even in fifties and sixties.
Unfortunately, there is no permanent cure to this disease. However, certain kinds of therapies are useful to achieve the long-term remission of this condition. The symptoms can be controlled with various types of medications, including anti-inflammatory drugs, immune system suppression medications, pain medications, anti-diarrheal medications, and antibiotics. It should be noted that a medication that is effective for some patients might not be perfect for other patients. Hence, the treatment for ulceration should be done under the care and management of a qualified gastroenterologist.
The symptoms of ulcerative colitis also can be managed by following some dietary and lifestyle changes. Certain food items can worsen the condition. People with ulcerative colitis are recommended to follow a low-fiber diet and to avoid or limit the intake of all types of gassy foods, carbonated beverages, alcohol, fruits, fresh fruit juices, caffeine, cabbage, broccoli, beans, and popcorn. Instead of raw vegetable and fruits, they can use steamed or baked vegetables. They should also try to drink large quantities of water every day. The Mayo Clinic has proposed that the patients suffering with this condition consume five or six small meals a day instead of having three or four heavy meals.
It has been noted that stress can trigger symptoms in individuals with ulcerative colitis. Hence, it is suggested that the ulcerative colitis patients should perform mild exercises and practice stress reduction techniques and breathing exercises to reduce stress.