A physician can determine whether decreasing or replacing certain food products or taking enzyme supplements can provide the needed digestive support. The GI tract also contains the largest immune system in the body, defending it against potentially pathogenic microorganisms that find their way into the body through food, drink and the environment. In Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), the immune system reacts to normal tissue and harmless microbes as well as harmful invaders. This autoimmune response damages GI tract tissue leading to diarrhea, bleeding and other symptoms. Crohns disease causes inflammation deep in the lining of the small intestine, inducing pain and chronic diarrhea. It can be a difficult disease to diagnose because its symptoms are similar to other intestinal disorders such as irritable bowel syndrome and to another type of IBD called ulcerative colitis. Ulcerative colitis causes inflammation and ulcers in the top layer of the lining of the large intestine.. When to see a Doctor for Stomach Pain Though normal bowel habits will differ among individuals, it is important to be aware of changes that persist or appear abruptly. Drugs and surgery for digestive disease do not generally work to restore the harmony of the GI system, but are necessary for diseases that alter the structure of the bowel, for example cancer and certain types of inflammation and other serious disorders. However, if left untreated, even minor disorders can prevent optimal digestion and nutrient absorption resulting in severe vitamin and mineral deficiencies in the body. It is critical to see your doctor if you experience the following recurring symptoms without obvious reasons: abdominal pain or cramping before or after meals, feelings of fullness, bloating or gassiness, nausea or vomiting, pain or difficulty in swallowing, loss of appetite, drastic unexplained weight loss, indigestion, bleeding or pain when passing waste, feeling that the bowels are not emptying completely and diarrhea, constipation and any chronic change in bowel habit. Diarrhea and the dehydration it causes, can be a serious problem for anyone, but is especially life-threatening for young children and the elderly. A doctor must be consulted if diarrhea persists or if it is accompanied by symptoms of severe abdominal pain, a high fever or blood or mucus. A physician can also determine whether chronic digestive discomfort is an indication of other disease. Disorders that affect other body systems can distort the functioning of the GI tract.
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New form of irritable bowel syndrome discovered
But weve shown that IBS symptoms occur after the diverticulitis, and it may result from an inflammatory process like a bomb going off in the body and leaving residual damage. As people age, most develop diverticulosis, or pouches in the lining of the colon. More than 50% of individuals over 60 have the condition; however, the pouches usually do not cause any problems. Occasionally, the pouches become inflamed, leading to diverticulitis, which causes pain and infection in the abdomen. Doctors usually treat it with antibiotics, or in more severe cases, surgery. A major surprise in our study was that diverticulitis patients not only developed IBS at a higher rate than the controls, but they also developed mood disorders like depression and anxiety at a higher rate, noted Dr. Spiegel. He added, Because IBS and mood disorders often go hand in hand, this suggests that acute diverticulitis might even set off a process leading to long-standing changes in the brain-gut axis. The discovery of PDV-IBS could mean better attention to patients complaining of symptoms after diverticulitis, symptoms that up until now may have been dismissed by physicians. Spiegel said the PDV-IBS. Dr. Spiegel explained, Patients often report ongoing IBS symptoms after the diverticulitis has long passed, and this study supports their beliefs and introduces a new diagnosis. If doctors recognize this, they may take the symptoms more seriously and manage them actively, just as they can manage IBS actively with various new drugs on the market and currently in development. For the two-year study, more than 1,000 patient records from the West Los Angeles Veterans Affairs Medical Center were reviewed. The study group comprised patients that had suffered acute diverticulitis and another group of patients that did not have it. The groups were matched for age and sex and had similar comorbidities (other existing health problems). The groups were followed for many years as UCLA researchers tracked the differences in IBS diagnoses and mood disorders.
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